HopSol taps First Solar for Namibia's largest PV project


The large scale PV market in Namibia is beginning to move forward with its first projects. The latest, the 5 MW Otjozondjupa Solar Park will supply electricity to state-owned utility NamPower.

First Solar will supply the project, which will deploy its modules in combination with single-axis tracking technology. Switzerland’s HopSol is developing the project.

“Our decision to select First Solar’s thin film modules was primarily driven by the operating conditions in the area. We needed a reliable module technology that would thrive in the hot temperatures that are common in the summer months and also deliver energy in cloudy, low-light conditions,” said Robert Hopperdietzel, Chairman, HopSol AG.

“As Namibia continues to shore up its generation capacity by adding

renewables to its portfolio, HopSol’s project, will, no doubt, stand out as a singular example of the sustainable development of solar energy in the country,” said Nasim Khan, Vice President for Africa, at First, Solar.

The 4.5 MW Omburu Solar Photovoltaic Park, completed last year, was the first in Namibia to sign a PPA with Namibia’s national utility, NamPower. The park deployed TSMC CIGS modules on a single-axis tracking system. Delta supplied the power electronics in the form of its three-phase string inverters. The project was developed by InnoSun, a subsidiary of French wind developer InnoVent. TSMC has since exited the solar market.

First Solar reports that Namibia has a total electricity generating capacity of 430 MW and imports more than 50% of its power from the Southern African Power Pool (SAAP).