South Africa’s Department of Energy has approved Soitec Energy as one of the preferred bidders under the country’s independent power producer (IPP) programme. Soitec’s first installation under this programme will be a 50MW CPV system next to the Aquila Private Game Reserve in Touwsrivier on the Western Cape.
The system, which will be powered by Soitec’s CPV technology, is one of the largest announced in South Africa to date and will be developed in partnership with Schneider Electric; Schneider will be responsible for engineering, procurement and construction and operation and maintenance services.
In addition to the Soitec-Schneider proposal, the Department of Energy received more than 300 other applications in the IPP’s first bidding round. The government hopes that the approved projects will help to transform the country’s energy portfolio by generating 42% of all new electricity from renewable-energy sources over the next 20 years.
At present, very few large-scale installations have achieved grid connection in South Africa, although last week AU Optronics finished work on a 1.2MW ground-mounted system in Kendal.