SMA supplies inverters for one of the first large-scale PV power plants in Africa

One of the first large-scale PV power plants in Africa is scheduled to become operational in spring 2013. SMA Solar Technology AG (SMA) will deliver a total of 84 Sunny Central 800CP inverters for the 75 Megawatt PV project in Kalkbult which is located in the north west of South Africa. With 42 Transformer Compact Stations, SMA also realises the medium-voltage solution for the connection to the grid. Additionally 840 Sunny String Monitors for string monitoring in the PV field are going to be delivered from the German Niestetal to South Africa.

The multi-megawatt project is carried out by the Norwegian company Scatec, supplier of photovoltaic solar energy solutions, in one of the sunniest regions of the earth. The project is realised within the scope of the first round of the South African Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programs. On an area of approximately 140 football pitches, 145 million kilowatt hours sun power are going to be produced. This equates to the energy demand of about 35,000 South African households.

“SMA was awarded the contract because we could assure the selection panel that our focus is on the Levelised Costs of Electricity (LCOE) and that we have a strong local presence in South Africa”, says Joseph Mashao, Managing Director of SMA South Africa. “The collective experience of Scatec and SMA on a global scale convinces the South African national authorities that the PV project will be a great success and a real flagship project.”

Several demanding stress tests and the global use of SMA central inverters have impressively proven their special suitability for the demanding climatic challenges in South Africa. In the Northern Cape Region, where the PV project Kalkbult is realised, the SMA inverter capacity under extremely hot conditions is of fundamental importance. This region is one of the world’s ten most sunniest regions with exceptionally hot temperatures.