South Africa

Mauritian fund invests $3 million in P2P solar specialist Sun Exchange

Sun Exchange has closed a $4 million Series-A funding round by obtaining a $3 million investment from ARPF, a Mauritian private equity fund. The peer-to-peer solar leasing platform said it will use the funds to help its members deploy solar solutions across sub-Saharan Africa.

Covid-19 weekly round-up: US job losses raise concern but France and China continued to add new solar

Cell supply shortages could kick-start manufacturing activity in India, EV car sales are braced for a fall while still gaining market share and a new date has been set for the world’s biggest solar trade show.

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South African chemicals producer seeks to procure 600 MW of renewables

Sasol has launched a request for information process to supply its South African operations with renewable energy.

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Eskom launches tender to ‘repurpose’ coal plants with low-carbon growth tech

The debt-saddled South African utility has issued an expression of interest to seek proposals on how to refurbish three fossil fuel power plants to be decommissioned in the current decade. Eskom said that all of the proposed solutions should be at the tech-readiness level.

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Scatec Solar reports limited Covid-19 impact thus far

While it has seen little fallout for its operating PV assets, the Norwegian solar developer says the coronavirus pandemic has started to affect construction, commissioning and testing of some of its new solar plants.

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South Africa moves forward with 2 GW tech-neutral procurement

The country’s energy regulator published two papers this week to solicit public feedback on plans that Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe recently submitted for review. The first document relates to the tech-neutral procurement of 2 GW of short-term risk-mitigation capacity, which could see solar emerge as a winner due to its quick deployment times. The second paper is linked to the nation’s Integrated Resource Plan 2019, which aims for up to 6 GW of new large-scale solar by 2030, as well as an additional 6 GW of distributed-generation capacity.

South African coal lobby loses court challenge over 2.3 GW of renewables

The country’s top appeals court has dismissed the Coal Transporters Forum’s long-running effort to nullify 2.3 GW of power purchase agreements which financially troubled utility Eskom signed with solar and wind developers in the country’s fourth national tender round years ago.

Module manufacturer responds to rumors of panel failures at 75 MW South African project

Reports of module under-performance at the Mulilo Sonnedix Prieska solar project have prompted a response from South African company Artsolar, one of the module suppliers for the plant. The project is said to be experiencing serious problems due to premature module degradation. Divian Govendar, CEO of Johannesburg-based Artsolar, said the company has not been required to replace any modules at the site.

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Reports of backsheet failures at 75 MW Mulilo Sonnedix Prieska solar farm in South Africa

The South African project is reportedly experiencing serious problems due to premature module degradation. Claims of extensive backsheet failure have emerged and it is said widespread module replacement will be required. The modules used in the project were supplied by Chinese manufacturer BYD and South African producer Artsolar.

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Eskom seeks modules and mounting structures for off-grid project

The South African utility is seeking offers for the supply of 1,383 320 W polycrystalline modules and mounting structures, to be used for the construction of four off-grid PV projects at its research center.

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