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Solar Equipment Manufacturing Expands in South Africa

June 11, 2012
AEG Power Solutions' new facility has capacity to produce at least 200 MW per year.

AEG Power Solutions, an energy technology and power electronics provider, announced on June 11 that its new plant in Cape Town is operational and will officially open in September of this year.

The factory, based in Montague Park in Milnerton, just outside of Cape Town, is 3,400 sqm, with the capacity to produce at least 200 MW per year. It will produce utility-scale solar inverters and skytron combiner boxes for monitoring and control solutions.

Over the past few years, AEG Power Solutions has equipped and commissioned more than 860 utility-scale solar installations around the world. The group opened its first South African office in 2010, expanding upon its facilities already operational in China, India, Germany, France and Spain. The new South African facility has a similar footprint to the Indian plant, opened last year. "The ongoing success of the factory in India proves the business case and AEG Power Solutions is looking forward to achieving a similar kind of growth in Africa", explains Horst Kayser, CEO of AEG Power Solutions group.

The plant has already started manufacturing the PV.500 Inverters and 1MW TKS Solar Containers, with 13 employees and will ramp up to the PV.630 and PV.800 by the end of 2012.

In 2010, the South African government approved plans calling for the development of 18 GW of renewable energy by 2030, of which 8,400 MW are allocated for solar. Currently, around 90% of South Africa's electricity is generated from coal-fired power plants and fewer than 40% of South African households have access to mains electricity. Throughout the year, South Africa receives more than 2,500 hours of sunlight -- more than twice the insolation available in most parts of Europe.

"The cost-effectiveness and sustainability of solar radiation as a power source have made it an attractive and viable energy alternative to fossil fuels in Africa. Solar power markets are set to boom around the world over the coming years with South Africa, and Africa in general, being seen as a future powerhouse for the worldwide solar industry, states Trevor de Vries, Managing Director of 3W Power/AEG Power Solutions, South Africa.

AEG Power Solutions provides utility-grade solar inverters backed up by a global network of service engineers and project services. Software-based solutions from the skytron subsidiary monitor and control utility scale photovoltaic power plants, offering an opportunity for delivering the most power from the sun to the grid.

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