Johannesburg - South Africa’s largest concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) solar plant will be connected to the grid next month, supplying 22 megawatt-peak (MWp) of electricity to Eskom, enough to power approximately 5 000 homes.
The 44MWp CPV plant developed by French company Soitec in Touws River, Western Cape, will be the largest in the Western world, overtaking Colorado’s Alamosa solar generating facility, which opened in May last year and generates 37MWp.
The plant has approximately 50 percent of its 1 500 CPV panels already installed. When complete, it will generate enough power to run 10 000 homes.
“Testing has already been done in terms of output levels so we should have the grid connected within the next two weeks or before the end of December,” said Mark van Wyk, the portfolio manager of impact funds at Mergence Investment Managers. The Cape-based investment management firm is one of a number of investors and has put R65 million into the Soitec Touws River plant.
Soitec raised a $100m (R1 billion) bond for the project, which was the first publicly listed project bond ever issued for a CPV.