Solar De AAr Solar Park Overview
In the first half of September 2013, the 50 MW De Aar Solar Power installed its final solar panel. Located 6 km outside the town of De Aar on land owned by the Emthanjeni Municipality in the Northern Cape. The project covers an estimated 90 hectares and will generate about 50 MW of clean renewable power using solar energy. Over 167,000 solar panels was installed on the project. It is one of the few independent power producers (IPPs) of this scale, to reach this construction target in the Northern Cape area of South Africa.
Savva Antoniadis (project manager for De Aar Solar Power):
“We’ve installed exactly 167 580 solar panels by hand since April 2013,”
The 50MW De Aar solar park was submitted to Round 1 of the South African Government’s Renewable Energy Procurement Programme as part of a consortium. The project was awarded preferred bidder status by the Department under the programme. It reached commercial operation date in early April, 2014. The solar power project generates 85 458 MWh per year, supplying enough clean, renewable electrical energy to power more than 19 000 South African homes. The facility feeds into the 132kV Eskom distribution system. De Aar Solar Power has signed a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with Eskom.
De Aar Solar Power is majority owned by Globeleq and its consortium partners, Mainstream Renewable Power South Africa, Thebe Investment Corporation, the Rebuna Litsasi Trust, Enzani Technologies and Usizo Engineering.
Engineering, procurement and construction contractor: Siemens (will provide maintenance services for the first five years of operation). Construction: Mainstream Construction. The project company: Globeleq.
Solar power has emerged as the most cost effective way to jump start investment into renewable energy solutions. South Africa is much smaller than the rest of the world when it comes to largest photovoltaic power stations. The Topaz Solar Farm in the US produces 500MW of nominal power (compared to South Africa’s 85MW), while the Longyangxia Dam Solar Park in China produces 320MW.
Solar power is a clean, renewable electrical energy source. There are many environmental benefits of solar energy, including:
- Use of solar generation reduces the reliance on traditional power plants.
- Zero CO2 emissions
- Solar power generation does not consume any water
- Sunshine is plentiful and renewable