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German solar inverters totalling 115MW to power South Africa PV power plants

South Africa PV power plants constructed by Norway firm Scatec Solar in Eastern and Northern Cape to use SMA Solar inverter technology

SMA Solar inverter technology will be used for the South Africa PV power plants in the country’s Eastern and Northern Cape

Solar inverter technology from Germany is being used to develop two South Africa PV power plants totalling 115MW. The South Africa PV power plants, which Norway firm Scatec Solar will start building in the country's Eastern and Northern Cape provinces later this year, will use solar inverter technology from Germany PV firm SMA Solar.

The South Africa PV power plants, Dreunberg in the Eastern Cape province and Linde in the Northern Cape province, are set to begin operation in the first and second half of 2014, respectively. They are being constructed under the second round of South Africa's Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Program (REIPPP). Norway PV power plant developer Scatec Solar is responsible for the PV power projects. The company will build and partially own the solar power plants, with construction scheduled to start in August this year.

The solar energy news from SMA Solar follows the company's solar inverter technology being used for other PV power projects in the BRIC countries. In March this year, RET reported the firm's solar inverters had been used for one of the largest PV power plants in India. India plant developer Azure Power deemed the performance of the solar inverter technology a success.

Proven solar inverter technology

SMA Solar will deliver 125 Sunny Central CP XT inverters for the South Africa PV power projects to total of 115MWp. In addition, 65 transformer compact stations for connection to the medium-voltage grid and 750 Sunny String-Monitors will be sent, as well as a PV power plant controller specially configured for the grid requirements of South Africa power company ESKOM for park regulation.

Scatec Solar is well under way with the 75MW Kalkbult project in South Africa, which will use 84 SMA Sunny Central solar inverters. The South Africa PV power project will be finished in the second half of 2013.

"The cooperation with Scatec Solar and the excellent suitability of the SMA central inverters for the challenging climate conditions in South Africa have already proven themselves in the Kalkbult PV project," said Jürgen Reinert, SMA executive vice president technology.

"In addition, there are special functions of the SMA inverters for grid integration. Together with the SMA power plant controller, complex requirements and control functions can be implemented, particularly for multi-megawatt power plants."