Cape Town – South Africa’s abundance of sun and wind means the country has the potential to supply cheaper and cleaner energy. This is according to an analysis conducted by Mainstream Renewable Power, a global wind and solar company.
Mainstream’s chief executive, Dr Eddie O’Connor, said the initial analysis strongly underpins government’s investment in renewable energy.
“Not only are wind and solar power cheaper than new fossil fuel generation in South Africa but when combined, they can make a very significant contribution to the baseload power at the time of day it is most needed. The analysis also shows that the combined wind and solar resources match the average demand profile for electricity.”
O’Connor said this was significant because the wind blows and the sun shines when electricity is most needed, which did not occur regularly in other global markets.
Mainstream measured wind and solar resource data from 2013 for 18 solar sites across South Africa at different times of the day. The sites analysed represented a combined generation capacity of 42 000 megawatts, 30 000 MW wind and 12 000 MW solar. Mainstream then examined Eskom’s electricity demand data (for 2008) to understand the impact the 42GW of wind and solar generation could have in relation to meeting the country’s electricity needs.
O’Connor said analysts have indicated the average bid price for wind projects in the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme.
Round one bids were accepted at 115c/kWh (kilowatt hour), round two at 100c/kWh and round three at 74c/kWh. By the time round four was reached in August last year, the bid price had dropped to 62c/kWh. The same process caused solar power to bid down from 275c/kWh in round one to 79c/kWh in round four, compared to the predicted cost of 128c/kWh for electricity from Medupi, which is designed to supply 4 764MW of renewable energy capacity in less than four years.
“Wind and solar power are quietly been piling on capacity in South Africa. The fact that these projects have almost surpassed the output of such a station in about half the time of its still-unfinished construction is hard to ignore.”
Rezco Asset Management director Rob Spanjaard said: “In the fog of confusion caused by the chaos at Eskom, sight is lost of where the national government has done really well in the area of power generation.
“Perhaps this could provide a model to get out of the morass that we are in that is dragging the whole economy down.”
Spanjaard said the state-run renewable energy programme was a leader internationally in a field of power generation and costs for renewable energy compare very favourably to the costs of a coal power and the final costs of nuclear power were forecast to be more expensive than coal.
“These renewable energy projects are very profitable to the bidders, so there are increasing numbers of groups bidding for the projects available. At last round, only 20 percent of bidding projects were selected.”
He said in the process the country received an unbelievable bargain, currently, 5 200MW had been approved at a capital cost of R168-billion. The project winners had to supply all their own capital and about 40 percent of the spend was local content and thousands of jobs have been created.
“The lessons have nothing to do with privatisation or even renewable energy. At the very least the government should analyse what has worked so spectacularly well for them in one area of power generation and apply these lessons to Eskom.”
Johan van der Berg, chief executive of the South African Wind Energy Association, said wind energy costs South Africa almost nothing. And added to this was the savings from not using coal and diesel.
“These benefits have increased significantly in the last six months, over the previous period. If we assume South Africa will be electricity constrained until 2020, it is fair to assume that an expansion of the renewable energy procurement programme will yield enhanced benefits. Just in wind energy, the community benefits over the next 20 years.”
Manie de Waal, divisional head of Sola PV at Energy Partners said renewable energy was the alternative energy source to what Eskom supplies through the grid.
“As such, it can generate cost savings as well as provide reliability during the current erratic supply South Africa experience through load shedding.”
He said the local manufacturing and installation of solar photo-voltaic (PV) units could create more than 2 000 jobs over the next three to five years.
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In the fog of confusion caused by the chaos at Eskom, we lost sight of where the government had done really well in the area of power generation, said investment director Rob Spanjaard.He said the state-run renewable energy programme had won international awards for its efficiency and impact and its success could provide a model to help Eskom out of its difficulties, which were currently dragging the whole economy down.Spanjaard, the investment director and portfolio manager at Rezco Asset Management, said before the implementation of the state’s renewables programme, wind generation projects were about to be approved at a cost of 125c per kilowatt- hour (kWh).”The government, under the auspices of the Department of Energy, then did some amazing work and developed the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme [REIPPPP]. Companies and consortia were in 2009 invited to competitively bid around clearly constructed criteria.”Round one bids were accepted at 115c/kWh, round two came in at 100c/kWh, round three at 74c/kWh, and by the time round four was reached in August 2014, the bid price had dropped to 62c/kWh. The same process caused solar power to be bid down from 275c/kWh in round one to 79c/kWh in round four.
Cost of coal generation
“This should be compared to the expected cost of 128c/kWh of new coal power from Medupi. Coal-generated cost increases to 168c/kWh if the cost of infrastructure like dams is included. The final costs of nuclear power are forecast to be more expensive than coal. These renewable energy projects are very profitable to the bidders, so there are increasing numbers of groups bidding for the projects available. At the last round, only 20% of bidding projects were selected,” Spanjaard said.The REIPPPP had already brought power and hope to communities that had never had access to basic services. The Duineveld township in !Kheis Municipality in Northern Cape was one such example, where 300 households benefited from the renewable energy programme.Led by Acwa Power Southern Africa, the project won the African Community Project of the Year award at the African Utility Week on 14 May for connecting 300 homes through 75 watt photovoltaic solar systems, making it possible for children to do their homework at night.The community project formed part of an IPP programme called Bokpoort Concentrated Solar Park, located in Groblershoop, Northern Cape. Once completed, the solar park will add 50MW of clean energy to the national grid.
REIPPPP is inspirational
On 16 April, the Department of Energy approved 13 more new renewable IPP bids, which means there will now be 79 REIPPPP projects with 5 243MW being added to a national grid desperately in need of power.”The renewable programme is inspirational and visionary,” bid-winner Andrzej Golebiowski of Scatec Solar told Fin24 at the time.”It’s really big on a global scale. It’s over 4 000MW they [Department of Energy] are planning to award this year. It’s going to make it by far one of the biggest markets globally for renewables. That’s pretty impressive,” Golebiowski said after his company won three bids to produce solar energy in South Africa.His projects – solar photovoltaic Sirius Solar PV Project One, solar photovoltaic Dyason’s Klip 1 and solar photovoltaic Dyason’s Klip 2 – will collectively add 225MW to the grid.Spanjaard said these investments in energy benefited the country in many different ways, over and above energy generation.”In the process the country got an unbelievable bargain. Currently, 5 200MW has been approved at a capital cost of R168-billion. The project winners had to supply all their own capital. About 40% of the spend is now local content and thousands of jobs have been created,” he added.”In addition, billions will be donated to community projects over the life of the projects, and all projects have to be [black economic empowerment] compliant.”The projects take about 12 to 18 months to get up and running from the time of approval, as compared to 10 years at Medupi.”
Tax instead of subsidise
Referring to Eskom, he said the state got to tax the projects instead of having to subsidise a loss-making state entity. South Africa also got to protect its environment and, finally, the country got much-needed cheap electricity, he said.There were some basic lessons that could be learned from the Department of Energy’s renewable energy programme.”The lessons have nothing to do with privatisation or even renewable energy. The state – anywhere in the world – works best when it regulates, takes the position as referee, forces groups to compete openly and transparently, and then taxes them.”At the very least the government should analyse what has worked so spectacularly well for [it] in one area of power generation and apply these lessons to Eskom.”
Ireland-based developer already in process of delivering about 850MW of wind and solar power in the country.
Mainstream Renewable Power looks set to secure its latest round of South African contract wins, after it was awarded preferred bidder status for 250MW of wind energy projects as part of a government tender.
A consortium led by the Irish wind and solar company was last week awarded the status for two projects by the country’s Department of Energy, paving the way for about €420m (£308m) of fresh investment in the country’s fast-expanding renewable energy sector.
The 140MW Kangnas Wind Farm in the Northern Cape and the 110MW Perdekraal East Wind Farm located in the Western Cape add to the 848MW of wind and solar projects Mainstream has been awarded under the South African government tender programme since 2011.
The latest deals underline Mainstream’s position as the most successful developer in the tender programme, having secured move development contracts than any other player in the market.
In addition to the two projects awarded this month, Mainstream is currently building three wind farms in South Africa’s Northern Cape, totalling 360MW, which were awarded under Round 3 of the programme. And last year the company delivered three wind and solar facilities into commercial operation in South Africa under the first round of the programme.
Barry Lynch, Mainstream’s managing director for onshore procurement, construction and operations, said green energy ticks three “important boxes” for South Africa.
“First, the cost of these projects is now cheaper than new coal-fired generation. Second, they can be brought into commercial operation at the speed required and third, they meet the scale needed to address the country’s growing electricity demand,” he said. “Mainstream is once again delighted to be able to play a leading role in South Africa’s burgeoning renewable energy sector.”
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Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom says Robben Island, one of the world’s top tourist attraction spots, will soon generate its power from solar panels.
The island, which once held the likes of former President Nelson Mandela and struggle stalwarts Walter Sisulu and Ahmed Kathrada, amongst others, will be a pilot
site for the department’s plan to roll out solar power to botanical gardens, South African National Parks and World Heritage sites during the current term of office.
Delivering his department’s Budget Vote Speech on Thursday, Minister Hanekom said the installation of solar power at the island will take place during the current financial year.
“The exciting part of the retrofitting programme is that it contributes towards our countrywide effort to reduce the electricity demand and to start shifting towards efficient energy use and renewable energy use.
“We will be introducing this component of the incentive programme on a pilot basis this year and it will involve the introduction of renewable energy at mainly our botanical gardens, at SA National Parks and at some of our world heritage sites.
“It will also include some of our community-based projects, particularly those that don’t have immediate access to the grid,” he said.
The retrofitting programme is part of the R180 million Tourism Incentive Programme, aimed at advancing the sector’s transformation, growing enterprises and developing tourism attractions.
As part of the retrofitting programme, the department will assess the needs of these establishments and then install photovoltaic panels (PV).
The Minister said the panels will be South African intellectual property-owned technology and the bulk of the components will be South African components.
“One of the pilot sites will be Robben Island and this will be done this year.
“Robben Island as we speak depends entirely on diesel generated electricity. We will shift them completely from diesel generated electricity to solar generated electricity,” he said.
The Minister also said while R180 million will be spent on the Tourism Incentive Programme’s pilot phase, an additional R368 million has been budgeted for the following years.
He said during the 2015/16 financial year, the programme would support tourism enterprises to access new markets by subsidising some of the costs of attending travel shows, as well as costs associated with being graded by the Tourism Grading Council.
Arrivals on the rise, tourism contributes to growth
The Minister said tourism has contributed 9.4% to the country’s gross domestic product over the past year.
He said the sector’s value chain now supported one in every ten jobs in the country.
“Growth in international tourist arrivals was recorded at 6.6% between 2013 and 2014.
“The 9.5 million visitors welcomed into South Africa last year contributed to creating a better life for all South Africans.
“The Department of Tourism will leverage the 2015/16 budget of R1.8 billion to create job opportunities and implement programmes that will take the sector forward in an inclusive and sustainable manner,” he said.
The Minister said his department had set an ambitious target of attracting 12 million international tourists arrivals by 2017/18 and increasing domestic holidaymakers from 2.8 million in 2014 to 4.1 million by 2020.
“With this level of growth, the department was on track to achieve the National Development Plan’s target of creating 225 000 jobs within the sector by 2020.
“About 54% of the budget will be allocated to South African Tourism for international and domestic marketing.
“An amount of R100 million has been ring-fenced for domestic marketing this year,” he said
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Seminar. This two day conference takes place on Wednesday, 24 and Thursday, 25 June 2015 during the annual alive2green Sustainability Week at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria.
The process of adding electricity to the grid in one place and taking it out at another, commonly known as wheeling, has been dubbed a potential catalyst for South Africa’s transition to renewable energy – could this approach open the flood gates? As energy producers gain direct access to end users by wheeling their clean energy through the Eskom grid, the market begins to open up, allowing market forces to push efficiencies up and prices down.
The possibilities opening up for gas generation, both at the utility and on site scale and the prospect of reducing national Green House Gas emissions is beginning to look highly possible, if not probable. Strategies to achieve grid autonomy through efficiency and on site generation will be discussed at the 2015 Sustainable Energy Seminar, a not-to-be-missed event, attracting the country’s leading experts in sustainable energy.
“There is an urgent need to reduce fossil fuel dependency, reduce our carbon footprint and diversify the energy mix and supply. Renewable energy is an attractive solution to many problems, the most important of these being security of supply, because resources are abundant and sustainable with the advantage of relatively quick implementation times, creation of work opportunities and a lower long-term impact on the environment,” says Dr Karen Surridge-Talbot, centre manager for the Renewable Energy Centre of Research and Development (RECORD) at the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI). Surridge-Talbot will share insights from SANEDI’s flagship projects at the Seminar.
South Africa has one of the best solar regimes in the world and the question is how best to harness this renewable energy resource. Dr Chris Haw, director of Aurora Power Group and the co-founder of the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association will discuss solar energy for commercial energy users with helpful case studies from his experience at SOLA Future Energy.
Valuable insights about redox flow batteries will be shared by Mulilo project engineer, Tim Crombie and Etienne Gerber, technical head at Mitochondria Energy Company (Pty) Ltd will discuss hydrogen fuel cells. Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz from the CSIR will speak about the council’s integrated energy initiative and opportunities for renewables in South Africa.
The Sustainable Energy Seminar will include riveting discussions on renewable energy generation potential versus the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPP) programme, wheeling, natural gas as an alternative energy source in South Africa, autonomy from Eskom – going off the grid and sustainable energy at city scale. Each session in the Sustainable Energy Seminar will begin with an expert panel of 20 minute presentations, followed by a question and answer session with input from the audience.
“We have a crucial role to play in enabling the transition from a carbon-intensive economy to more efficient low-carbon alternatives. The reduction of electricity consumption and increased rollout of renewable energy alternatives is a critical aspect of this transition,” says Dr Marco Lotz, Sustainability Carbon Specialist of Nedbank Group.
The Sustainable Energy Seminar, sponsored by Nedbank, SANEDI, UNIDO, BASF, Massbuild and Participate Technologies forms part of the larger Sustainability Week, organised by alive2green, which runs from Tuesday, 23 to Sunday, 28 June. Affiliated partners of the Sustainable Energy Seminarinclude: PIESA, SESSA, SAEE, REEEP, TAPPSA, SAAEA and NBI.
Sustainability Week is hosted by the City of Tshwane which has a vision to become a low carbon, resource efficient and climate resilient city by 2055. Executive Mayor of Tshwane Councillor Kgosientso Ramogkopa said, “Sustainability Week is a vital gathering for experts and leaders alike to champion urban sustainability for future generations. Energy efficiency is at the heart of this challenge – it cannot be overlooked.”
For more information on Sustainability Week, visit www.sustainabilityweek.co.za.
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Electricity provision is a crisis in South Africa. The failure of a reliable energy supply to the South African economy will have long term consequences for economic growth. Most at risk from this slowdown in economic growth are the poor – and their children.
But an innovative approach by funder agency, Community Chest, has seen the door of opportunity being opened for poor people who wish to secure their own advancement as entrepreneurs.
On any given day over 10-million South Africans who have no access to electricity whatsoever. The chances of freeing themselves from poverty and contributing to the economy are greatly diminished by their lack of access to a basic service like electricity.
According to StatsSA the number of unemployed people increased in the second quarter of 2014 to 5.2-million—and increasing the unemployment rate to 25.5%. The crisis within Eskom and the resultant irregular supply of power due to load shedding further threatens the survival of small businesses and lessens the chance of entrepreneurs emerging and contributing to the economy.
It was with this in mind that the Community Chest, with its commitment to long-term sustainable solutions, decided to launch its Amandla! Project with the slogan “Power your home, Empower your life”.
Community Chest has partnered with a technology company to provide portable solar power solutions to the South African market. It believes that providing solar-powered electricity to township and rural communities in South Africa will encourage and boost economic development.
Community Chest Chief Executive Officer Lorenzo Davids said the portable solar powered EcoBoxx Entrepreneur Kit will help entrepreneurs in townships and rural areas to not only “electrify” their homes but also use it as a business tool to provide an income into that home and community. 963 candidates from the larger Cape Town area will benefit from this project and will be equipped with the business skills- through basics of business training- and the tools through the portable solar power kit to start their small business.
The lightweight, portable kit, which is charged through two solar panels, provides 50 hours of power. Included in the package are two bright LED lights, a USB-driven fan, a pair of hair clippers, and a multi-device cellphone charging cable. It is easily transported and instantly ready for set up at any locale. An aspiring entrepreneur now has the ability to generate an income by opening up a barbershop and selling cellphone charging time anywhere in the community, all powered by free energy from the sun.
He pointed out that the importance of the small, medium, and micro enterprises (SMME) sector was crucial to lifting people out of the poverty trap. In 2014, 2.8-million SMMEs contributed almost 40% of the nation’s GDP and provided more than 50% of employment.
The projected earnings from utilising the kit are substantial. “An entrepreneurial barber, who had selected the right location, could earn up to R800 to R1000 per week if they did eight haircuts at R10 and 16 mobile charges at R5 per day, over a 5-7 work day week.
Community Chest Amandla! Project’s job creation strategy encourages the entrepreneurs to look at their community and identify its needs for various products or services. These may take the form of identifying a difficulty the community is facing and determining what product or service could help address that difficulty.
Merle Mills, Project Manager said that apart from having a “go-getter” attitude, candidates ideally needed also to be aware of the needs of their community. “We are looking for self-starters,” she said. “Active citizens who are intuitive about their communities, and have ideas of how to better their neighbourhoods, such as using the kit to provide light for learners to study at night or lighting dark street corners as an increased safety precaution. It is for this reason that we look to individuals such as Faieza and Ebrahim Fourie, the founders of Women for Change – a Mitchell’s Plain based organisation participating in the project, “she added.
“Community Chest is about using donor resources to launch innovation in philanthropy that inspires change and builds safe platforms for the future of our democracy. Our children, with their mothers and their fathers, must be able to rise from the shackles of a shrinking economy and crippling disadvantage to take ownership of not just reducing poverty but of a new mind set to use these innovative ideas to become first generation wealth creators. That’s the South Africa we are helping to build” said Mr Davids.
Source: Press Release
BioTherm Energy and Enel Green Power among the preferred project bidders named in the fourth round of the REIPPP initiative.
BioTherm Energy, a South African entity and an African-based independent power producer (IPP), has secured preferred bidder appointment for three projects: the 120MW Golden Valley Wind facility, 45MW Aggeneys Solar PV and 86MW Konkoonsies II Solar PV Facility, totaling 251MW of installed capacity.
The African utility successfully constructed and now operates 49MW of wind and solar projects secured in Round 1 of the REIPPP Program. In addition, it owns and operates a 4.2MW waste gas project at the PetroSA Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) Refinery in Mossel Bay, Western Cape.
“This 251MW allocation by the Department of Energy reflects our ability to compete directly with leading international players who have come to dominate the South African landscape,” said Jasandra Nyker, BioTherm Energy CEO. “We appreciate the Department of Energy’s commitment to supporting a South African development and investment platform in this round.”
In addition, to being awarded preferred bidder status for the wind and solar projects in South Africa, the company has recently garnered success in the rest of Africa. It was awarded preferred bidder status on four solar power projects in Zambia and secured two preferred bidder solar projects in Burkina Faso. BioTherm Energy was also finalist in the Ugandan GET FiT solar facility program and is actively developing greenfield opportunities in East and West Africa.
“BioTherm’s focus on sub-Saharan Africa is equally important to its growth strategy in South Africa,” Nyker added. “Regionalized growth of renewable energy such as wind or solar offers significant economic development and assists in improving the local manufacturing and services value chain. The recent announcement of the Round 4 projects adds to South Africa’s energy evolution and is a further step towards establishing a sustainable, low-carbon environment.”
Enel Green Power, for its part, won energy supply contracts for three wind power projects, including the Oyster Bay project that had been developed by RES. The 142MW Oyster Bay wind farm will comprise 43 turbines and generate in excess of 560GWh per year. Once complete, the project is expected to displace more than half a million tonnes of CO2 in each year of operation, making a dent in carbon emissions by offsetting the economy’s reliance on coal-fired generation.
“We are delighted that the Oyster Bay wind project has received preferred bidder status from the South African Department for Energy,” said Duncan Ayling, development director for RESSouthern Africa. “Such high wind energy sites represent excellent value for money for South Africans and bring socio-economic benefits to the local community through job creation, enterprise development and community trust schemes.”
Oyster Bay will be majority-owned, built and operated by Enel Green Power, a leading European renewable energy power producer. Between now and financial close, RES will continue to support the project and deliver development services in cooperation with Enel Green Power.
Source: Renewable Energy Focus
South Africa has announced its list of preferred bidders for the fourth round auction of renewable energy projects.
The country will add about 1,000 mw of power in this round, industry insiders told Reuters.
Named “Windows 4″, the renewable energy bidding rounds have invited bids for a range of renewable projects such as wind, photovoltaic, biomass and small scale
South Africa, the most advanced economy of the Dark Continent, has been struggling to keep its grid in order and to meet consumer demand owing to a lack of capacity building since the end of apartheid.
It still depends on coal for 95 percent of its energy production.
The country is looking to introduce green energy into its mix on a larger scale.
According to Reuters, some of the possible bidders include Building Energy, Italy; Enel Green Power, Italy; paper maker Sappi and BioTherm, Johannesberg.
Also Germany’s state-controlled development bank KfW announced last week that it had granted the power utility Eskom a 4 billion rand loan to help modernise its power grid and to connect new renewable energy projects to the system.
Source: GreenTech Lead
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The loan will be used to connect solar and wind power plants to Eskom’s power network and help to secure supply in a country that has been beset with almost daily power outages, KfW said.
“The adjustment of the energy supply is a big step for South Africa away from dependency on coal towards a more sustainable electricity generation,” Norbert Kloppenburg, a management board member at KfW, said in a statement.
Although most loans are paid out in euros or dollars, this one was disbursed in rand, making it the biggest single credit ever granted by the German bank in a local currency to any developing or emerging nation.
The financial assistance is meant to help South Africa make a quantum leap towards more sustainable and reliable energy supplies in a nation where power outages are a still a common phenomenon.
The money is to go primarily towards hooking up a number of green power stations to the national energy grid, enabling the country to lower its harmful CO2 emissions by 5.5 million tons annually.
KfW indicated the focus would be on integrating the Kiwano solar thermal power station in Upington and the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme in Braamhoek.
Source: Cape Business News
Italian multinational renewable energy corporation Enel Green Power (EGP) recently announced it had begun constructing three solar photovoltaic (PV) plants in South Africa: Aurora, Paleisheuwel, and Tom Burke. The plants will be fitted with a total capacity of 231MW, capable of covering the energy needs of more than 100,000 South African households.
EGP plans to sell Solar power generated from these new PV plants to South African utility Eskom as a result of the power supply agreements EGP has been entitled to enter into with the utility.
EGP was awarded this right in the third phase of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) tender held by the South African government in October 2013. In the same tender, in addition to the three above mentioned projects, Enel Green Power was also awarded the right to build the 82.5 MW Pulida photovoltaic park, the 111 MW Gibson Bay wind farm and the 88 MW Cookhouse/ Nojoli wind farm.
Construction of all these projects is in line with the growth targets set out in Enel Green Power’s 2014-2018 business plan.
A total PV generation capacity of 231 MW will be installed in Northern Cape Province, Western Cape Province, and Limpopo Province. With an installed capacity of 82.5 MW, the Aurora photovoltaic plant, located in the Northern Cape Province, will be capable of generating more than 168 GWh of solar power per year once up and running. This output corresponds to the annual energy needs of around 53,000 South African households.
The Paleisheuwel PV plant will have an installed capacity of 82.5 MW and will be built in the Western Cape Province. Once fully operational, it will be able to generate more than 153 GWh of solar power per year, equivalent to the energy needs of around 48,000 South African households. And with an installed capacity of 66 MW, the Tom Burke photovoltaic plant, located in the Limpopo Province, will be capable of generating up to 122 GWh per year once up and running.
Construction of all these projects is in line with the growth targets set out in Enel Green Power’s 2014 – 2018 business plan, the company notes. In South Africa, Enel Green Power owns and operates the Upington solar PV plant, with an installed capacity of 10 MW.
Source: African Environment
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