16 July 2013 – Droogfontein Solar Power and De Aar Solar Power have both received delivery of their high voltage (HV) transformers. The HV transformer is the largest single component on the sites and takes the longest time to manufacture. It is a critical component for these independent power projects (IPPs).
“The delivery of the HV transformer is a significant milestone for this project, as the transformer is at the heart of the project. Having this piece equipment on site is a significant achievement for the project team,” Savva Antoniadis, project manager for De Aar Solar Power, says.
The HV transformers were manufactured by Siemens at its plant in Portugal. Manufacturing started in August 2012 and has taken almost a year to manufacture. It took approximately one month to ship from Portugal to South Africa. Special precautions were taken during the transportation to ensure the transformer was not damaged en route, with sensors being used to measure the movement of the cargo. Each transformer weighs approximately 80 tonnes, making it the single largest delivery to site, for both solar projects.
“The transformer will be the only HV transformer for the project, with the purpose of stepping up voltage supplied from inverter transformers at 33 kV to 132 kV to connect the Eskom line,” Kevin Foster, project manager for Droogfontein Solar Power says.
Both projects are on schedule and within budget and are expected to commence with commercial operation in April 2014, as scheduled.
Both De Aar Solar Power and Droogfontein Solar Power are majority owned by Globeleq, the emerging markets power company, and its consortium partners, Mainstream Renewable Power South Africa, Thebe Investment Corporation, local trust groupings, Enzani Technologies and Usizo Engineering.