A newly built 500 kW solar-energy facility will power the United Nations Climate Change COP17 global gathering, and will be officially inaugurated by South African President Dr. Jacob. G. Zuma on December 4. Soitec a world leader in generating and manufacturing for the electronics and energy industries, has built a concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) power plant next to Durban, South Africa, as the flagship project for the 17th annual Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), being held November 28 to December 9. More large scale commercial and utility scale projects are being started or switched on around the globe. Bloomberg New Energy Finance is reporting,”that for the first time in history, investments in renewable energy installations surpassed investments in fossil fuel plants. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, last year $187 billion was invested in renewable energy installations, which exceeded the $157 billion that was invested in new natural gas, oil and coal plants.”
“CPV offers South Africa huge potential for its natural resource and climate protection,” said André-Jacques Auberton-Hervé, president and CEO of Soitec. “After proving our Concentrix™ technology’s performance in the region with last year’s installation of a 60 kW power plant at the Aquila Private Game Reserve in Touwsrivier, we are proud to continue supporting the country’s young but growing renewable-energy sector. Sustainable energy, as we all know, is a prerequisite for a sustainable future.”
Soitec worked closely with the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs (DEA) of South Africa and the local eThekwini Municipality to build the CPV solar plant, which feeds into the area’s power-supply grid. The CPV plant was constructed in just one month using the combination of Soitec’s international expertise and the local work force. Group Five, an integrated construction services, materials and infrastructure investment group operating in Africa, was the local construction partner for the project.