South African Mine Goes Off-Grid with Solar

Joanna Schroeder

JinkoSolar is partnering with Solea Renewables to deliver a Limpopo province chrome mine in South Africa the first off-grid utility scale photovoltaic system in the country. When completed, the 1 megawatt plant will produce an estimated 1.8 gigawatts of electricity per year and be comprised of 4,179 polycrystalline PV panels supplied by JinkoSolar. It will also reduce the mine’s daytime diesel generator use. This is part of an effort in South Africa for the country to increase the use of renewable energy as well as increase power supplies from independent producers.

“While the global demand for South African coal, platinum, palladium and chromium increases, mines and other industrial consumers face power supply constraints due to capacity challenges at Eskom. The turnkey delivery of our PV plants will not only benefit end-users, but it will in turn help reduce the ever present and increasing energy demand Eskom faces,” said Vusi Mhlanzi, Director of Solea Renewables. “We chose JinkoSolar panels for its superior performance and reliability, as seen in utility-scale installations across Asia, Europe, and Americas.”

The off-grid PV solar system is expected to be completed by late October 2012. According to Mhlanzi, the system will be a good example of how solar energy can create a “long-term hedge against all rising costs of power.”

Kangping Chen, CEO of JinkoSolar added, “We have great expectations for South Africa. The region’s booming population, strong economic growth and abundant sunlight represent an exciting opportunity for solar and for JinkoSolar. We look forward to working with Solea Renewables, an experienced EPC partner on this momentous project.”

Electricity, Energy, Solar