Work is underway on two ground-mounted PV projects totalling 33MW being brought forward under South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme.

The two projects, both near Douglas in the Northern Cape Province, are being developed by AE-AMD Renewable Energy, a South African joint venture comprising Spain’s AMDA energia, South Africa’s Alt-E Technologies and Tenesol, part of SunPower.

South Africa’s energy department signed off final financing deals for the projects at the end of November, allowing the construction to go ahead. Work has already begun on the 22MW Herbert project, while the 11MW Greefspan plant will begin in the coming weeks.

Completion is slated for the second quarter of 2014.

SunPower Regions President Howard Wenger said: “These two solar power projects will generate local construction jobs and deliver clean, reliable energy to the community.”

The ground-mounted solar systems will feature 138,000 Tenesol TE 240 photovoltaic solar panels on single-axis trackers.

In separate news, solar manufacturer BYD is to supply 110MW of PV modules for two projects in South Africa.

The company will supply up to 458,000 modules for two unspecified projects falling under the first round of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme.

Tom Zhao, General Manager of BYD’s PV Department, said: "South Africa is heading down the road of becoming one of the leading countries in the solar energy realm, and we’re glad to have joined this journey.

“Large-scale solar energy PV power plant is the key to achieve economies of scale and lower the costs of mass solar energy power."

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