With more than 500MW of utility-scale solar installed, South Africa has now placed itself into the world’s top-ten PV markets, according to reports released today by the utility-solar group, Wiki-Solar.org.
South Africa is currently 10th on the list with 15 plants generating a combined capacity of 503MW.
The country received a big boost with four large-scale PV projects coming online in the last few months. Two 66MW plants in Lesedi and Letatsi, developed by SolarReserve and Intikon, were completed in late May, while Sunpower Corporation installed both the Herbert and Greefspan plants earlier this month.
These four plants were part of the first round of the South African Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP). While the programme started off slowly due to lethargic contract negotiations with utility company Eskom, more plants are now under construction throughout the country, while rounds two and three of the undertaking have already been rewarded.
Philip Wolfe of Wiki-Solar said: “France and Italy’s position in the top ten may now be under threat. Substantial pipelines of projects, not only in South Africa, but also in Japan and Chile, suggest that they too will soon be contenders for solar power’s First Division.”