German firm enters SA solar market

8 September 2010

German-based Concentrix Solar has inaugurated its first facility in South Africa, commissioning a 60-kilowatt solar power plant at Aquila Private Game Reserve in Touwsrivier in the Western Cape.

With this installation, the Aquila Private Game Reserve is able to cover all its energy requirements during daylight hours, making a positive contribution to environmentally friendly tourism.

Concentrix, a leading supplier of concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) systems, is a division of the Soitec Group, which is listed on the Euronext Paris exchange.

Future project development

The launch of the facility is an initial step in developing large-scale solar power projects in South Africa – Concentrix Solar is actively pursuing a project development of a 50-megawatt utility-scale power plant in the Western Cape.

“CPV systems are perfectly suited for the use in South Africa with its energy shortage, water scarcity and high temperatures,” Concentrix Solar CEO Hansjorg Lerchenmuller said in a recent statement.

“Our systems can be easily and quickly implemented, they do not need cooling water and do not suffer from heat degradation at hot ambient temperatures.”

Constant, high power output

With a high amount of direct solar irradiation, Concentrix says South Africa is best suited for the use of its CPV technology. Due to its high efficiencies and the two-axis tracking, the systems also provide a constant high-power output throughout the day.

The company has been present in South Africa since 2008, and has the ability to develop large-scale solar projects and deliver turnkey solutions under local conditions, using local content.

“This facility will initiate the transfer of know-how, and serves to develop local skills in South Africa with immediate effect,” Lerchenmuller said.

SAinfo reporter

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