German inverter manufacturer, SMA, has begun operations at a new Cape Town manufacturing facility set up to serve South Africa’s burgeoning PV market.
The facility will manufacture SMA’s Sunny Central inverter and enable the company to comply with local content requirements specifiied under South Africa’s REIPPP renewable energy programme.
“With an ambitious expansion target for photovoltaics and high solar irraditation, South Africa is a strategically important market for SMA. By beginning our local inverter production in time for the fourth round of the REIPPP programme, we have once again strengthened our position as the preferred partner for project developers, EPCs and financing banks in this attractive emerging market,” said Thorsten Ronge, general manager of SMA Sub-Sahara Production.
Coinciding with the commissioning of the factory, SMA said it had completed an inverter supply contract for its third REIPPP project, the 40MW Linde PV plant in Northern Cape province.
SMA supplied 43 inverters, 258 string monitors and 22 medium voltage connection transformers from SMA.
The Linde project is the second utility-scale plant built by Norway’s Scatec Solar in South Africa.
Also being built by Scatec Solar, with SMA inverters as part of the second round of the REIPPP, is the 70MW Dreunberg solar power plant. Dreunberg is in the Eastern Cape and is nearly complete.