Energisation of the first solar farm in the North-West Province of South Africa has taken place ahead of schedule. The Rust Mo 1 solar farm, constructed by juwi Renewable Energies, fed its first kilowatt hour into the national grid during November 2013. The seven MW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant near Rustenburg is the first of four engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) projects that juwi Renewable Energies successfully won during the first tendering round under South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme.

The utility-scale solar farm in the North West Province has a total module surface of 94,650 square meters. More than 29,000 photovoltaic modules transform solar energy into electricity. Each year, the photovoltaic system produces more than 12.5 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity. This equals the annual electricity consumption of several thousand low-income households.

While the project in Rustenburg has been successfully completed, the construction works on two other juwi projects are already in full swing. In the Northern Cape, the Cape Town-based renewable energy specialist is currently constructing two 10.7 MW utility-scale solar farms. All construction works are on schedule. Both these power plants are scheduled to be connected to the grid in December, 2013. The fourth, five MW plant in the Western Cape is due to begin construction later in 2013, once the Eskom sub-station to support the plant is constructed.