South Africa approves 1 GW solar project


Eskom has granted a permit to German developer Soventix for a 1 GW solar project under development in the town of De Aar, South Africa. The installation will be one of the first projects of this size to be connected to the South African state-owned power utility's transmission network.

Soventix said in a statement that construction of the first 342 MW phase of the project will begin from the first quarter of 2024.

“The scope and planning of this project will pave the way for other developers and IPPs to connect projects of this size to the network in the future,” said Soventix.

The project was developed under the South African Renewable Energy IPP Procurement (REIPPP) program of the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy.

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For operational reasons, the company split construction into three stages. In July 2022, the rights to the first phase of the project were sold to South African operator Solar Africa, which is expected to either resell the completed project or generate green electricity certificates.

Soventix is developing phases two and three of the project, ultimately bringing it to 1 GW. The company has also developed agrivoltaic tests during different phases to collect data.

The De Aar power plant is based on single-axis solar tracker technology. Soventix said it plans to evaluate opportunities to couple the project with sheep farming, the most widespread agricultural activity in the region.

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