Skytron® energy has been selected to fit out one of the largest solar power plants on the African continent with its monitoring, control and supervision technology. The Mulilo Sonnedix Prieska Photovoltaic (PV) plant will be completed in July 2016, with a capacity of 86.2 megawatts (MWp). The plant is located just outside Prieska, in the high-lying Northern Cape region and will provide approximately 30,000 homes with clean energy.
skytron energy understands and fulfills the special grid standards in South Africa, which are required by the public electricity company ESKOM. While its power plant controller skycontrol ensures high-precision measurement of all relevant physical quantities at the grid connection point, their continuous feedback to the controller input and the required feed-in tuning of active and reactive power, PVGuard® visualizes and analyzes all relevant data in real time.
“With more than 2,500 hours of sunlight reaching South Africa a year solar power is an ideal source of energy in the region,” says Lino Garcia, the Director Business Development of skytron energy “. “Considering the negative impact of load-shedding and rising energy prices, on the South African economy over the past decades, we are very happy to finally see changes and an increased awareness of renewable energies. Besides being environmentally friendly, PV plants are, first and foremost, reliable and cost effective sources of electricity. In order to meet local requirements and maintain the highest possible standards at the Prieska power plant, we will both integrate the entire range of our high-quality control and supervision technology and redesign components for the site.”
“We value the flexibility in skytron energy’s monitoring technology and the fact that the company adapts its products to our needs,” says Andre Steffen, the Senior Project Manager of juwi Renewable Energies. “Considering the particular local requirements in South Africa, we selected skytron energy as the best partner to fulfill such needs for the Prieska project. Beyond its state-of-the-art technology, we were also impressed by its highly experienced team.”
Prieska is one of the utility-scale photovoltaic projects approved by South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), which calls for the development of 18 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy by 2030, 8.4 GW of which has been allocated to solar power. The new facility is a major milestone in the development of PV energy in the region.
The plant in the Northern Cape is equipped with the entire technology fleet of skytron energy, which results in the highest possible performance of the plant: the SCADA software PVGuard, the power plant control system skycontrol, the on-site skylog data logger system, the on-site data server skyserv, 600 ArrayGuard® FH combiner boxes and several skyCONNi-Sun universal weather units. Altogether, they cover the entire power plant and ensure highest plant performance and output for investors. The manufacturing of the combiner boxes with integrated string current monitoring was contracted to a local partner to ensure that the system meets the local content requirements by REIPPPP (and are specially designed to suit the region’s climatic conditions. The South African manufacturing line and test facilities were audited by skytron energy to guarantee its high quality standards.