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SA the world’s 11th largest PV market

9 October 2013 – South Africa has abundant solar resources and has become the world’s 11th largest market for photovoltaic installations. Supported by favourable government energy policies, it has appealed to global industrial giants to develop solar projects in the country. However, to ensure that local companies are also competitive, the South African government encourages local content requirements in the bidding process. This gives local manufacturers an advantage in the competition for projects.

A company called Powerway secured a 94.5 MW ground-mount project in round one of the renewable energy independent power producer programme (REIPPP). It followed this up by securing two more ground-mount projects, totalling 30 MW. These two projects are located in Northern Cape: De Aar (10 MW) and Prieska (20 MW). The project investor and one of the operators is Gestamp Solar.

According to the terms of the contract for the new work, Powerway began preparing material shipments in mid-July 2013, and commenced installation in early August, with the expected project completion to take 10 weeks.

The company has developed a new screw type specifically for the rocky geological conditions in South Africa. Its 100% local production shortens the lead time and improves efficiency, insuring that the project will be finished as scheduled.

"Our cooperation with Gestamp Solar, one of the world’s leading PV companies, is very meaningful to us,” Paul Sherry Wei, Powerway’s chief marketing officer, says. “It is an important milestone in the development of our business in South Africa. Working with the world’s major photovoltaic solar developer and EPC contractor gives us a stable long-term cooperative relationship with which to continue the development of large scale photovoltaic power plants in South Africa. This security strengthens our ability to take advantage of the long term potential of this emerging, high growth solar energy market."