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Solar News

NOA Group acquires early-stage Khauta solar farm in the Free State

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th May 2024 Local integrated energy company NOA Group has successfully acquired the 350 MW Khauta solar PV facility, near Welkom, in the Free State, from PNE, which started the development of the facility. The addition of the solar farm brings NOA’s total grid-secured assets to 500 MW and closer to its... 

Prescient supports Reatile’s acquisition of stake in 240 MW solar project

By: Creamer Media Reporter      16th May 2024 Prescient Investment Management has approved R324-million in equity finance to support black-owned investment company Reatile acquire a 31.5% stake in a 240 MW Free State solar PV project. The Virginia Solar Park project was selected as part of the sixth bid window of South Africa’s Renewable... 

Dipula reports improved metrics, hones in on solar

By: Sabrina Jardim     14th May 2024 JSE-listed real estate investment trust Dipula Income Fund has reported improved operational and financial metrics, as well as strategic gains in a period that marked the first phase of its new solar PV initiative roll-out for the six months ended February 29. Dipula’s revenue grew by 9% and its... 

Dipula Income Fund CEO Izak Peterson
Dipula Income Fund CEO Izak Peterson

Organisers expect record attendance at event

By: Halima Frost     10th May 2024 With ballooning foot traffic, demonstrated by an increase in attendance of 81% from 2022 to 2023, the organisers of this year’s Enlit Africa anticipate a “bumper event that will be attended by global dignitaries and industry leaders”. The Enlit Africa 2024 will be held at the Cape Town... 

A man standing on a podium at last years Enlit Africa Event
TAKING TO THE FUTURE This years Enlit Africa theme – Less Talk, More Action – aims to encourage attendees and speakers to move away from talk in favour of action and implementatio

Firm highlights risks, challenges associated with solar expansion

By: Lumkile Nkomfe      10th May 2024 With a surge in the adoption of residential and commercial solar power generation, global professional services firm Aon South Africa highlights that the expansion of the solar industry comes with considerable risks and challenges. Aon asserts that any solar installation poses a potential fire... 

A generic image of solar panels
PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES Aon stresses the need for the careful management of solar solutions

Umoyilanga Avondale solar farm in Upington takes delivery of first modules

By: Marleny Arnoldi     9th May 2024 Global smart PV and energy storage solutions provider Trina Solar has started delivering modules to the 115 MW Umoyilanga Avondale solar project, in Upington, under a strategic partnership with two Chinese corporations. Trina’s partnership with China Energy International Group (CEIG) and China... 

Deadline for latest battery procurement also extended as IPPs adjust to Eskom’s new grid access rules 

By: Terence Creamer     9th May 2024 The deadline for South Africa’s recently launched third battery energy storage bidding round, or bid window three (BW3), has been extended by three months to October 31, following a recent deadline extension for the concurrent second battery bidding round from April 30 to June 6. Independent... 

Battery storage

Genuine progress, not electioneering, behind the easing of loadshedding, council says 

By: Darren Parker     9th May 2024 The current loadshedding reprieve is not a result of excessive diesel burning to pacify voters but rather a consequence of government and business coming together to made headway in solving South Africa’s electricity crisis, Energy Council of South Africa (ECSA) CEO James Mackay has said.... 

pylon at sunset

Equites starts wheeling power from distribution centre to head office in Cape Town

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th May 2024 Property developer Equites Property Fund has officially started wheeling renewable energy onto Cape Town’s grid from solar panels atop its newly built distribution centre in Parow. The company is among the first to begin wheeling energy for the municipal grid, with its current offtaker being a... 

Equites' distribution centre, in Parow
Equites' distribution centre, in Parow

Sappi signs PPA with trading platform to supply solar power to its South African operations

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th May 2024 Paper and packaging group Sappi has signed a milestone 175 GWh/y renewable energy power purchase agreement (PPA) with private electricity trading company Enpower Trading. Sappi is working towards attaining various science-based target objectives, with the renewable energy solution aimed at... 

Sunset with solar panels

Renewables provided record 30% of global electricity in 2023, Ember says

By: Reuters     8th May 2024 Growth in solar and wind power pushed renewable generation to a record 30% of global electricity production in 2023, putting a global target to triple renewable capacity by 2030 within sight, a report by think tank Ember said. Cutting fossil fuel use and emissions in the power sector is seen as... 

A graph showing the share of hydropower, solar and wind electricity generation growth

South African company comes second in Milken-Motsepe Prize in Green Energy competition

By: Sabrina Jardim     7th May 2024 The Milken Institute and the Motsepe Foundation have announced Aftrak and Omnivat as winners of the Milken-Motsepe Prize in Green Energy – a $2-million innovation competition to reward entrepreneurs working to expand access to reliable, affordable and sustainable offgrid electricity in Africa.... 

Winners of the Milken-Motsepe Prize in Green Energy
Photo by The Milken-Motsepe Innovation Prize Program
Winners of the Milken-Motsepe Prize in Green Energy, Dr. Carl Telford and Dr. Jonathan Wilson from Aftrak, and Runner-Up Winners, Randy Kabuya and Deney van Rooyen from Omnivat, pictured with Dr. Patrice Motsepe (left), Mike Milken and Dr. Emily Musil Church (right) at the Milken Institute Global Conference

Climate commission model points to the growth potential of green industrialisation 

By: Terence Creamer     6th May 2024 The initial direct cost of placing South Africa on an energy transition pathway over the coming five years in line with its decarbonisation targets is calculated at a hefty R1.5-trillion in the Just Energy Transition Investment Plan (JET-IP). Less visible, however, are the socioeconomic costs... 

Wind and solar

WBHO completes two solar plants, impactful community initiatives in Lichtenburg

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd May 2024 Construction group Wilson Bayly Holmes-Ovcon (WBHO) and renewable energy company Sola Group have completed construction of the Merak 2 & 3 solar photovoltaic projects near Lichtenburg, in North West. The two solar plants, with capacities of 130 MW and 126 MW, respectively, span an area of 4 km2... 

WBHO and Sola Group's Merak 2 & 3 solar plants
WBHO and Sola Group's Merak 2 & 3 solar plants

New Mulilo CEO says South Africa’s renewables, storage markets poised for exponential growth

By: Terence Creamer     2nd May 2024 Independent power producer Mulilo reports that Jan Fourie has officially assumed the role of CEO, where he will oversee the company’s growth ambitions in South Africa’s public-procurement and private-offtake markets for both renewable energy and battery storage. Fourie, who is an electrical... 

Mulilo chairperson Jan Oberholzer with new CEO Jan Fourie
Mulilo chairperson Jan Oberholzer with new CEO Jan Fourie

AMSA to convert one Vanderbijlpark blast furnace to an electric arc furnace by 2028 

By: Darren Parker     2nd May 2024 Steelmaker ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) CEO Kobus Verster has confirmed that the company will be converting one of its three blast furnaces into an electric arc furnace (EAF) within the next four years. The company currently has two blast furnaces in operation at its Vanderbijlpark facility.... 

blast furnace at AMSA
In this video, AMSA CEO Kobus Verster tells Engineering News about the company's plans to decarbonise.

AMSA expects to break ground on Vanderbijlpark’s 200 MW solar plant this year

By: Darren Parker     2nd May 2024 Steelmaker ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) is planning to start construction on a 200 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant at its Vanderbijlpark facility, in Gauteng, towards the end of the year, CEO Kobus Verster has told Engineering News. He explained that the installation would serve as... 

AMSA's Vanderbijl Park facility with open ground in the foreground
The ample open ground at AMSA's Vanderbijl Park facility will be used to build a 200 MW solar power plant

Two BW6 solar projects with a combined capacity of 360 MW reach commercial close 

By: Terence Creamer     30th April 2024 Two solar photovoltaic (PV) projects selected as preferred bids under Bid Window 6 (BW6) of the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy’s (DMRE’s) renewable energy procurement programme reached commercial close on April 30. The projects, which were part of a group of six PV projects to advance... 

Solar farm

UK-Morocco renewable energy link plan gets $10.2m boost

By: Bloomberg     30th April 2024 GE Vernova invested $10.2-million in Xlinks First, the UK company planning a massive renewable power project in Morocco and a 4 000 km undersea cable to deliver the energy to Britain. The investment helped close the latest funding round for Xlinks First, capping $110-million raised to date,... 

EDF Renewables, partners building 1.2 GW of low-carbon power capacity

By: Darren Parker     26th April 2024 EDF Renewables is currently leading the construction of almost 1.2 GW of low-carbon power generation capacity in South Africa, comprised of 763 MW of wind power, 355 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) and 75 MW of battery storage. This new build programme comprises eight sites across the Northern and... 

Wind turbines being erected at one of Koruson 1 sites

Opinion: Solar PV sector urged to work together in addressing challenges that stand in the way of success

26th April 2024 In this article, South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) CEO Dr Rethabile Melamu responds to concerns raised by speakers at a recent energy-related conference about the challenges facing the country's renewables sector. 

SAPVIA CEO Dr Rethabile Melamu
SAPVIA CEO Dr Rethabile Melamu

Solar rental firm begins testing roll-out model for underserved communities 

By: Terence Creamer     25th April 2024 Local solar-as-a-subscription service provider Wetility is deploying a rooftop solar solution in a lower-income community as part of a proof-of-concept study to firm up the feasibility of extending the offering to other underserved areas. COO Franta Pour tells Engineering News that the company’s... 

A Wetility installer

Tumble in storage battery costs to boost shift to renewables, says IEA

By: Reuters     25th April 2024 An expected sharp fall in battery costs for energy storage in coming years will accelerate the shift to renewable energy from fossil fuels, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday. While renewable energy by itself is already much cheaper than coal and gas-fired plants, weather can... 

IEA executive director Fatih Birol
IEA executive director Fatih Birol

South Africa aims to set up three JET-aligned skills development zones 

By: Terence Creamer     24th April 2024 Three Just Energy Transition (JET) skills development zones focusing on renewables and grids, electric vehicles and green hydrogen value chains are proposed for implementation under the larger JET Investment Plan (JET-IP), for which pledges of $11.5-billion have been made by several developed... 

Workers unstalling solar panels

Red Rocket of South Africa hires Goldman to explore sale option

By: Bloomberg     24th April 2024 Red Rocket, a South African independent power provider, hired Goldman Sachs Group to advise on the next steps for the closely held business – including a possible sale. Shareholders of the Cape Town-based company “have decided to explore strategic options,” for the business, CEO Matteo Brambilla... 

The Tororo solar plant in Uganda

Opinion: A call for clear, uniform solar policy in South Africa

24th April 2024 In this article, residential solar solutions provider GoSolr CEO and co-founder Andrew Middleton, writes that solar power has the potential to significantly reduce loadshedding, but patchwork policies, differing tariffs and a lack of incentives are stalling growth. 

A solar panel being installed

Gauteng govt rolls out 6.3 MWh of solar power at 27 healthcare facilities 

By: Darren Parker     23rd April 2024 The Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) has installed and commissioned a combined equivalent of six independent microgrid power plants through the installation of rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery storage at 27 prioritised health institutions across the province. The total combined... 

Battery and invertor at government clinic

Globeleq acquires 48.3% interest in Egypt solar plant

By: Sabrina Jardim     23rd April 2024 Independent power company Globeleq has completed the acquisition of a 48.3% equity stake in the 25 MW Winnergy solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in Egypt from Enerray, Enerray Global Solar Opportunities and Desert Technologies. The plant, which is in operation, is located within Egypt’s flagship... 

Project envisions rollout of smart LPG, solar systems, hydrogen stoves to 3.51m indigent households

By: Darren Parker     22nd April 2024 Energy solutions company Kili Energy is spearheading a large-scale initiative, the Kili Energy Clean Energy Democratisation Project, to provide smart liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) canisters and stoves, smart solar systems and novel hydrogen-powered stoves to 3.51-million indigent households in... 

LPG gas bottles

Major global utilities announce joint intent to scale renewables capacity by 2030 

By: Sabrina Jardim     19th April 2024 The Utilities for Net Zero Alliance (Uneza) has adopted a roadmap to 2030, targeting a total increase of renewable energy capacity within their portfolios to 749 GW by 2030, an increase of 2.5 times relative to 2023. The alliance members’ joint renewables ambition was announced this week... 

Decarbonised iron production possible using sodium, company says

By: Darren Parker     19th April 2024 A new process being pioneered by energy companies such as Israel-based Helios and Netherlands-based Alkalium proposes the use of sodium metal rather than coal or hydrogen to refine iron-ore into direct reduced iron (DRI). Traditionally, iron is beneficiated by mixing iron-ore fines with coal. The... 

direct reduced iron pellets

Efforts to boost local manufacture of renewable energy components  

By: Creamer Media Reporter      19th April 2024 Engineering News editor Terence Creamer discusses South Africa's plans to stimulate local manufacturing around solar, wind and batteries. 

Efforts to boost local manufacture of renewable energy components
Efforts to boost local manufacture of renewable energy components

AfDB president calls for political will to kick-start Inga 3 project

19th April 2024 Development finance institution African Development Bank (AfDB) group president Dr Akinwumi Adesina has called for a major political commitment to kick-start construction work on the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) giant Inga 3 dam, which has the potential to meet the power needs of more... 

Scatec inaugurates 540 MW Kenhardt solar farm 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     18th April 2024 Norwegian renewable energy company Scatec has inaugurated the 540 MW Kenhardt solar farm in the Northern Cape. In his keynote address at the event, on April 18, CEO Terje Pilskog commended how far the site has come to producing electricity for South Africa’s grid and reiterated the company’s... 

Kenhardt solar farm, in Northern Cape
Kenhardt solar farm, in Northern Cape

Solar PV sector provides many opportunities for South Africa, but there are challenges

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th April 2024 The growth of the photovoltaic (PV or solar) sector worldwide has resulted in a current manufacturing overcapacity, which has driven down the prices of PV modules by almost 50%, solar PV distribution company Solarworld MD Gregor Küpper pointed out on Friday. He was addressing a media conference... 

Hyphen deploys MetMasts to model energy yield for Namibia green hydrogen project

By: Sabrina Jardim     9th April 2024 Green hydrogen development company Hyphen Hydrogen Energy is investing €2-million on its MetMast Measuring Campaign, which makes use of meteorological masts (MetMasts) to precisely model the energy yield of the wind and solar resources to enable the optimised design of a project it is developing... 

Namibian president Dr Nangolo Mbumba alongside Hyphen CEO Marco Raffinetti
Namibian president Dr Nangolo Mbumba alongside Hyphen CEO Marco Raffinetti

Africa Data Centres breaks ground on new solar farm in the Free State

By: Darren Parker     8th April 2024 Technology group Cassava Technologies subsidiary Africa Data Centres (ADC) has broken ground on the construction of a solar farm in the Free State in collaboration with solar power company Distributed Power Africa (DPA) Southern Africa. The first phase will entail the construction of a 12 MW... 

Solar panels being installed
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