South Africa’s Largest Solar Power Plant Goes Online

As the world’s combustible energy sources and oil supplies are busy being depleted, many companies and nations have turned to implementing renewable energy sources for the last couple of years – and South Africa is not far behind.

While SA has a number of solar-powered energy plants scattered across the country, one of the biggest ones recently came online. The De Aar 3 plant, situated just outside the sleepy Northern Cape town of De Aar, is an 85MW solar project that uses 200 000 amorphous silicon thin-film modules. This makes it South Africa’s biggest thin-film photovoltaic (PV) power plant.

Sitting on 270 hectares of desert sand, the project will be able to generate 150,000 MWh per year for 35 000 households – through a contract signed with electricity provider Eskom. Under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme, Eskom agreed to purchase electricity from the plant for the next 20 years.



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