Africa & Middle East

October 5, 2011
Although better known as one of the world's largest suppliers of oil, Saudi Arabia continues to join the solar age with the inauguration of one of its first larger-scale photovoltaic power plants on October 1. The facility, a 500KW system comprised of Solar Frontier CI(G)S thin-film modules, is located on Farasan Island and was installed by the Saudi Electricity Co. and Solar Frontier's parent company, Showa Shell Sekiyu (which is partially owned by the Saudi Arabian Oil Co.).
September 27, 2011
In a bid to generate 5% of the emirate’s electricity needs from renewable sources by 2030, Dubai authorities were cited by a Reuters India report as being on the verge of announcing details of a large solar power plant in the region. Saeed Mohammed al-Tayer, vice chairman of Dubai's Supreme Council of Energy, has said that although the 5% target will comprise several forms of renewable energy sources, “[t]his is mainly going to be solar”.
September 22, 2011
Solar Millennium has claimed that its Kuraymat, Egypt solar-thermal power plant, in operation since June, has been surpassing field performance by 8%. The parabolic trough technology hybrid plant holds an overall 150MW electric capacity and in addition to solar energy, uses natural gas to allow for 24-hour operation.
September 5, 2011
On August 15, Tsumkwe, a small village in Northern Namibia was able to receive its first, around-the-clock electricity supply in three years thanks to a hybrid solar system completed by juwi Solar. The 200kW system, consisting of a 1MW battery storage unit and three integrated diesel generators, is claimed to be one of Africa’s largest off-grid solar systems and supplies Tsumkwe’s public buildings and 100 private households with electricity.
August 30, 2011
Ubbink East Africa, Centrotec Sustainable's Dutch subsidiary, has opened East Africa's first PV module factory in Naivasha, Kenya. Ubbink plans to produce around 30,000 modules a year, with the majority of these being used to cater for the growing number of small-scale systems in Africa.
July 26, 2011
Cadbury Cocoa Partnership is looking to bring photovoltaics to West Africa by installing solar lanterns and panels in Ghana. The scheme will see lanterns given to cocoa farmers and panels installed in rural schools across the country.
June 23, 2011
Solar Frontier is set to strengthen its presence within the growing Middle Eastern solar market by opening a new office in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia. The office, which opens on July 1, will help Solar Frontier to liaise with its partners in the region and offer more hands-on support for its projects in Saudi Arabia.
June 16, 2011
Soitec and Schneider Electric have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (Masen) to develop concentrated photovoltaics (CPV) technology in the North African country.
June 6, 2011
Swiss PV solution company HopSol has entered into a three-year contract with Solar Frontier. The deal will have a market focus in Southern Africa with Solar Frontier delivering double digit megawatts of its CIS solar panels for solar projects in countries such as Namibia, Botswana and the Republic of South Africa. The companies did not reveal the financial details of the supply deal.
May 10, 2011
QSolar has shipped 56 of its 230W Spraytek79 panels to Morocco to help complete the final testing phase of the country’s three latest solar projects. Testing of the systems, which have capacities of 30MW, 6MW and 1MW and a total value of US$51.21 million, is being carried out by the Moroccan branch of Allied Solwin, Solwin Maroc Sarl.

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