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Solar Power, South Africa's Answer to Energy Crisis

(Credit: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg via Getty Images) A visitor inspects photovoltaic panels operating in the Sishen solar park, operated by Acciona SA, in Kathu, Northern Cape, South Africa, on Tuesday, June 2, 2015. South Africa, which has implemented rolling blackouts this year as electricity demand exceeds supply, is running a five-round program of tenders to tap new sources of energy and encourage more private companies to build power projects. Acciona SA To Ramp Up South Africa Business After Solar Success
March 18
10:24 AM 2016

South Africa's energy crisis has been greatly affecting millions of lives and businesses in the country. The government turns to solar power, hoping that solar energy answers the country's problem with electricity.  The biggest solar farm ever built in in the southern hemisphere is now operational and has the capability of supplying power to approximately 75,000 South African homes annually.

For the past years, the state has difficulty dealing to augment its energy demands. South Africa's government bets on solar power hoping that it will solve the country's energy crisis. On and off electricity and power outages have caused big problems for businesses, lowering productivity across the economy, BBC reported.


The most titanic solar farm that was completed in Africa and the Middle East region is controlled by Solar Capital in De Aar, Northern Cape. It generates 175MW and sits on a 473-hectare land and is the pinnacle of R4.8 billion, two-phase project. There are 503,942 solar modules that comprise it and took 28 months to complete with more than 2,000 workers employed.

The Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPP) made the project a reality enabling foreign investments in renewable energy. Solar Capital Chairman Paschal Phelan states that the launch of the facility was a significant example of how solar power can help in solving South Africa's energy crisis, according to the TechCentral report.

 "The Northern Cape of South Africa has some of the highest irradiation levels in the world, with the location of this facility boasting 2, 168 kWh/m². This allows the abundant sunlight in the region to be converted into green energy to be transferred to the national energy grid."

He added that the project would soon be equipped with lithium-ion battery storage to supply transmittable electricity during the night, as reported by PVTech.

With largest solar farm now operational, more households and businesses will be able to take advantage of the renewable energy making their lives easier and there will be a boost in the output.  Dependence on coal and shale will be lessened as well as the expenditure and pollution.

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