256MW Solar Module Supply Contract Awarded In South Africa

CSI Solar will deliver the modules to two power projects in the country's North West province.

By Chriselle Moraes on
10th February 2023

CSI Solar, a subsidiary of Canadian Solar, has been awarded a contract by SOLA Group to supply 256 megawatts solar modules to two large utility-scale solar power projects in South Africa.

The 256 megawatts solar modules will provide power to the first two largest utility-scale solar power projects in South Africa, based on private power purchase agreements (PPAs).

The two solar projects to be supplied are 126 MWp (megawatts-peak) and 130 MWp each in size and are in the North West Province of South Africa. SOLA Group and its partners will operate and develop both projects. Construction started in October 2022 and is expected to reach commercial operation by the first quarter of 2024.

Canadian Solar will deliver 390,073 BiHiKu7 modules. The BiHiKu7 CS7N-MB-AG are bifacial modules based on 210-millimetre wafers with a power output of 670 watts and an efficiency of 21.6%. 

These modules are optimal for utility-scale projects with good savings on the mounting structure and cable at the system level, and reduction of BoS (Balance of System) and LCOE (Levelized Cost of Energy) costs compared to smaller wafer size modules. These modules are also highly compatible with most inverters and trackers.

The two projects will be built over an area of approximately 430 hectares. Once operational, they will generate at least 580 gigawatt hours (GWh) of clean, renewable electricity annually. That is equivalent to powering 40,000 households and reducing 595 tons of CO2 emissions yearly.

SOLA Group is an independent power producer based in Cape Town, South Africa.  The company's project portfolio includes the Robben Island solar microgrid consisting of a 666.4-kilowatt solar farm, an 837-kilowatt powerstore and multiple controllers - shown in the video below.


Commenting on the 256 megawatts solar modules supply contract awarded to CSI Solar by SOLA Group, Dom Wills (CEO of SOLA Group) said “These are the first solar projects of this scale in South Africa that are based on private power purchase agreements. It’s also a great plus for the country that these projects are 100% South African-owned, financed, constructed, operated, and managed. We hope the model of private power through bilateral agreements becomes more widely adopted. The benefits to the end user are competition, choice, and ultimately a more diverse contribution to the power system.” 

Also commenting, Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar, said “We are pleased to work with SOLA Group on these two solar power projects. This is a great achievement and an important step in South Africa’s plan to allow more flexible electricity trading by opening up the grid,”

“I’m glad our BiHiKu7 modules have been selected for these projects due to their high product quality, reliability, and LCOE cost savings. We look forward to contributing further to the growth of renewable energy in Africa and globally with our high performance/price ratio products,” said Dr. Qu.

Top Photo: Solar Panels - Stock Image (Fernando Tomàs | Wikimedia Commons)

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