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The project, which Suntech Power Holdingswill undertake alongside energy solutions firm Mainstream Renewable Power, will be designed bySiemens, also a global powerhouse in electrical engineering.
David King, Suntech's CEO, said: "We are excited to be partnering with Mainstream Renewable Power, one of the world's leading developers of renewable energy projects, and Siemens, which is renowned for its engineering and implementation expertise. These landmark projects will showcase the ability of solar to provide clean and sustainable energy to South African communities."
The project will utilise the Suntech V series modules, which are well suited for utility scale power plant installation, according to Suntech.
The project, said to be capable of generating enough electricity to power approximately 15,000 households and be safer for the environment by displacing approximately 180,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per year, is expected to be completed in mid-2014.
Eddie O'Connor, chief executive of Mainstream Renewable Power, said Suntech's proven track record of powering utility-scale power plants, reliable technology and their global support network were central to the company’s decision to partner with the Siemens and Mainstream.
“With quality components and engineering, we are confident these projects will demonstrate the capabilities of solar energy in South Africa and set the foundation for a sustainable future," he said.
The project will also be the first to be granted a license under the South African Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP). Under the programme, the country targets the installation of 1.45GW of photovoltaic solar plants by the end of 2014 and 8.2GW by 2030.
"The combination of Suntech's technology and Siemens' execution strength as well as our strong local team set-up will form a perfect partnership that will set the highest standard for our partner Mainstream Renewable Power Ltd.These projects are opening the door to one of the most interesting emerging renewable energy markets," Ted Scheidegger, CEO of Siemens Solar & Hydro Division, stated.