CNPV Solar Power and Donauer Solartechnik have been contracted to supply and construct the latest in a series of rooftop PV plants to be announced in southern Africa, a 1.1MWp solar PV station at Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL), Namibia.
CNVPV, a multi-product solar company with headquarters in Luxembourg, will supply modules for the project. International solar product wholesaler Donauer is headquartered in Munich, Germany.
The NBL plant is expected to be assembled with a mix of technologies. Energy prices in Namibia are high enough that commercial users of electricity often supplement energy purchases from the grid with off-grid use of diesel generators.
CNPV has been contracted by NBL to supply modules, with its CNPV-250P polycrystalline modules set to be used for the project. Donauer will fit the rooftop plant with the D:Hybrid System, an integrated energy management solution which allows the user of the solar plant to utilise a mixture of solar PV and diesel. The hybrid system works by supplementing a basic level of energy supplied by diesel with power generated by PV.
The number of commercial rooftop installations in southern Africa has increased recently compared to ground-mounted PV electricity production operations due to the relative ease of constructing an off-grid rooftop system, as engineering, procurement and construction firms can deal directly with building owners and have less environmental concerns to address than if they were building directly onto previously unused land.
The announcement follows the recent news that two large agricultural producers in South Africa, specialty tea maker Rooibos and Ceres Fruit Growers have contracted Solarworld Africa to install two large rooftop solar plants.
Recently, British EPC firm Solarcentury formed Solarcentury Africa, a joint venture with African energy company Momentous Energy with a view to expanding operations in southern Africa in both rooftop commercial and ground-mounted utility scale installations.