The South African subsidiary of the German-based renewable energy provider juwi has taken over the operation and maintenance (O&M) of the De Aar 1 solar power plant. The 85 MWp solar farm is located in the Pixley ka Seme district, Northern Cape province.
The De Aar 1 solar power plant was developed, financed, and built by Solar Capital (Pty) Ltd, under Bid Window 1 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPPP). juwi’s local subsidiary has won the new contract for the operations and maintenance of the power plant which has been operational since 2014.
The installation is one of the largest operational solar farms in South Africa, covering an area of 282 hectares. With the acquisition of the solar farm, juwi’s operational management portfolio in the EMEA region has increased to more than 800 MW of capacity.
Christos Charalampidis, juwi’s O&M manager for the EMEA region, said renewable energy forms the backbone of South Africa’s energy crisis plan, and juwi is committed to providing clean and renewable electricity in the country, through the O&M of De Aar 1 and other Juwi utility-scale projects.
“Our goal is to operate De Aar 1 with the highest reliability and energy efficiency for the national grid. The award confirms our competence, dedication, and commitment to providing O&M services that ensure that the grid in South Africa is provided with reliable renewable electricity,” commented Charalampidis.
The De Aar 1 solar project adds to the juwi South Africa portfolio of 400 MW of installed renewable projects under operational management. The solar farm is the second “third party” O&M facility in the country that has been awarded to this renewable energy company.
Richard Doyle, juwi South Africa Managing Director, mentioned that the company is focused on the development and building of large-scale solar PV and hybrid energy projects where they can deliver the highest impact in terms of renewable energy provision and reduce carbon footprint.
The De Aar 1 solar power plant is equipped with 167,580 Suntech STP 290/295 Watt solar panels coupled SINVERT PVS2400 inverters. The plant generates 85,458 MWh of renewable energy per year, equivalent to powering more than 19,000 South African households.