Johannesburg - Power and automation technology group ABB will construct two solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants for power utility Eskom.
The pilot plants, each of one hectare, will be located on greenfield sites adjacent to the coal-fired power stations at Lethabo in the Free State and Kendal in Mpumalanga, ABB said on Monday
They will be the first of their kind built in the country.
At the Kendal power station, ABB will provide a fixed tilt solar PV power plant with a station capacity of 620 kilowatts (kW) and production potential of 11 445 398 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year. At the Lethabo site, the installation will comprise a single axis tracking solar PV power plant with a peaking capacity of 575 kW and a production potential of 12 491 479 kWh per year.
"ABB is really proud to provide their world class technology for these pilot solar PV projects," said Carlos Pone, country manager, ABB in SA.
"They are the first of their kind in PV technology in the country and we are elated to be associated with them," he said.
The PV plants will be designed to operate independently to produce electrical power for use by the existing power stations and will be capable of remote operation and monitoring. The fast track projects are scheduled to be completed by November 2011 prior to the Conference of Parties 17 event on climate change, to be held in Durban later that month.
"These orders will afford ABB in SA with the opportunity for transfer of skills in solar technology, which will complement and further enhance the local capabilities in engineering and project management," said Pone.