Johannesburg – In a power breakthrough, Solea Renewables has signed a turnkey deal with renewable energy company Cronimet Energy SA to deliver the first-ever off-grid utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) system in southern Africa to a chrome mine in Limpopo. The 1 megawatt plant will produce approximately 1.8 Gigawatt hours of electricity per year and is expected to reduce the mine’s daytime diesel dependency for the next 20 to 30 years. The project is in line with national plans to increase power supplies from independent producers. It also dovetails with South Africa’s stated objective to increase the percentage of renewable energy among the countries total power mix. The fully integrated turnkey PV system designed, engineered and constructed by Solea Renewables, will convert the sun’s irradiation into alternating current electricity by using SMA central inverters and 4 170 high efficiency 240 watt polycrystalline PV panels supplied by Jinko Solar. Vusi Mhlanzi, director of Solea Renewables, said: “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 help reduce the ever present and increasing energy demand Eskom faces.” The photovoltaic plant will be constructed on Cronimet Energy SA’s site in Thabazimbi, Limpopo. Ground breaking took place on Thursday. Construction is under way and expected to be completed by late October.