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In an exciting interview with Solarquarter Africa, Richard Doyle – Managing Director, juwi Renewable Energies (Pty) Ltd (South Africa) gave us a clear overview of the company, its background, and the utility-scale projects executed by the company. He also spoke about the strict quality management policies and procedures that ensure the best of their service.
Can you give a brief overview of juwi and the company’s history in the South African region?
juwi South Africa is part of the international juwi Group, which was founded 25 years ago and has installed renewable energy projects globally with a capacity of 5.5GW. juwi started in South Africa ten years ago and in this time we have developed over 400MW of renewable energy projects in our effort to contribute to the low-carbon energy transition. We develop solar, wind, and hybrid renewable energy projects and offer operations and maintenance (O&M) services for solar PV and hybrid systems. Our vision is 100% renewable energy and every day we work hard to build that future.
What is your view on the solar sector in South Africa? How has it evolved over the last few years?
A constrained and unreliable energy grid, an abundance of sunshine, and carbon emission reduction targets make the solar sector a very interesting, exciting, and important industry to be in. Legislation and government initiatives in South Africa have developed over the past few years in favor of investments into solar energy projects. Notably, the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) has attracted international attention for its success in catalyzing a low-carbon, socially inclusive, and just energy transition. Other mechanisms such as renewable energy projects below 100MW not needing to register for Generation Licenses are further stimulating the rapid adoption of these technologies. Rising costs of conventional grid-supplied energy coupled with falling prices of renewable energy and energy storage technologies are also making the business case for going solar increasingly attractive.
What are some major utility-scale projects executed by juwi in the South African region?
Our Prieska, Waterloo and Matla A Bokone solar projects together comprise 258.5MW. We are also excited about our Evander gold mine solar project which marks the first of many mining companies that we will assist in switching to renewable energy. The mining sector in South Africa is very large and with sizeable energy demands and located in areas with abundant sunshine, switching to renewable energy is an obvious choice. We have a division within juwi dedicated purely to servicing this market and are partnered with Siemens to offer best in class hybrid energy solutions.
How does juwi ensure quality management? What are some set policies and procedures for the same?
We pursue a process-oriented management approach, which is based on the internationally recognized standard DIN EN ISO 9001:2015 / OHSAS 18001. The Quality Management System (QMS) of juwi South Africa is validated through external audits and sets a streamlined and efficient way of managing internationally acknowledged standards. Our quality objectives match the core vision of the company and brand, in which we work together to deliver the highest value renewable energy projects possible.
How do you see juwi contributing to further developing the renewable energy industry in Africa?
The South African energy grid is projected to remain constrained and carbon intensive for years to come. There is therefore much work to be done to develop as many renewable energy projects as possible to contribute to alleviating grid pressure, lowering emissions and providing solutions to clients that ensure that they receive reliable, cost effective, low-carbon energy. The mining sector is also a point of focus due to the size and energy demands of the industry. We intend to continue to lead the energy transition in South Africa and retain our reputation as the service provider that prioritizes quality and precision – German qualities ingrained into our South African DNA. We will continue working with our partner Reatille to grow the renewable energy industry, contribute to the South African economy, and to empowering the people that live here.