Solea Renewables (Pty) Limited (Solea) - a South African photovoltaic (PV) engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor - signed a turnkey contract with Cronimet Energy South Africa (Pty) Ltd (CESA) - a fully owned subsidiary of the newly established Cronimet Mining Energy GmbH based in Germany - to deliver the first ever off-grid utility scale photovoltaic system in Southern Africa.The South African mining industry fueled the development of the richest most modern society on the African continent. Today the world’s largest mining companies together with a vast number of junior mining and exploratory companies employ some half a million people across South Africa’s mining industry. And while the global demand for South African coal, platinum, palladium and chromium is increasing, the national energy supplier Eskom is straining its capacity to supply sufficient and uninterrupted electricity to South Africa’s economy.
Solea will engineering, procurement and construct a 1 megawatt turnkey photovoltaic plant on CESA’s site to run its sister company’s mining operations. Once commissioned, Solea’s innovative and environmentally responsible renewable energy solution will allow the mining company to power their daytime operations with a decentralized grid-independent power supply. Ground breaking is scheduled for July, 2012 and commissioning to take place by the end of September, 2012.The 1 MW PV plant will delivery approximately 1.8 GWh of electricity per year allowing the mining company to materially reducing its daytime diesel consumption and capitalize on a natural long-term hedge against rising diesel costs.