May 16th, 2013, Published in Articles: Energize

ABB has won an order worth around R250-million to supply electrical and control systems for a new 75 MW PV power plant in the Northern Cape province. Owned by WBHO, a South African construction company, and Building Energy, an Italian renewable energy developer and operator, the plant is located in the Kalahari desert close to the town of Kathu and to the Sishen mine, one of the largest open-pit iron ore mines in the world. The Kathu PV power plant is among the first tranche of projects to be awarded as part of South Africa’s renewable energy program, which aims to diversify the country’s energy mix and reduce its carbon footprint. Once completed in 2014, it is expected to be one of the world’s largest PV power plants with a single-axis tracking system. It will have the capacity to generate around 146 GWh of clean solar power to feed into the national grid – enough to meet the needs of over 40 000 people based on average national per capita consumption and displacing the equivalent of about 50 000 t of CO2 emissions annually. Brice Koch, head of the company’s power systems division said that renewable energy sources such as solar have a key role to play in meeting the growing demand for electricity while minimising environmental impact, and that the company has a track record of delivering turnkey power and automation solutions that are optimising photovoltaic power plants all over the world. The company’s turnkey electrical and automation solution can optimise the performance of the Kathu plant to maximise output while ensuring reliability in remote and demanding operating conditions. The solution includes a range of power products such as medium- and low-voltage switchgear, distribution transformers, and control and protection devices. It also incorporates distributed automation and control products. The company will be responsible for the design, engineering, supply, installation and commissioning of the project.

Contact Natasha Mathebula, ABB SA, Tel 010 202-6156,

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