Spain’s Acciona builds Africa’s largest photovoltaic plant

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The Spanish company Acciona, a multinational specializing in renewable energy, has commissioned the Sishen photovoltaic plant in South Africa. This facility is the largest such plant on the African Continent.

This is also the largest photovoltaic plant ever built by Acciona in the entire world. Its estimated generation capacity is 216 Gigawatt hours per year (GWh), making it the largest producing plant now operating on the African Continent.

Located in northwest South Africa, this is the first photovoltaic facility built by Acciona in this country, where Spanish companies overall have established a significant presence in the renewable sector.

The plant possesses 94.3 MW of peak capacity and is located in the town of Dibeng, in Northern Cape province. It will create about 1,000 jobs.

This infrastructure will be able to satisfy the electricity needs of about 100,000 South African households, and prevent the emission of 208,000 tons of CO2 per year into the atmosphere.

Electricity from this plant will be supplied to the network of Eskom, a public company which has experienced severe difficulties satisfying local energy demand. The South African Government is attempting to reduce Eskom’s dependency on coal, substituting instead renewable energy.

According to the commercial office of the Spanish Embassy in South Africa, Spanish companies were involved in projects representing 35% of the total electricity production assigned in the first two phases of the Government’s renewable energy program.

In addition to bringing on line the Sishen plant, Acciona is also finishing construction work on a 138 MW wind farm in Western Cape province. The company is involved in several other wind and photovoltaic projects, at the same time that it is intensifying its marketing efforts in South Africa for the company’s wind turbines.