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Kenhardt Solar Farms Light Up South Africa’s Northern Cape Despite Electricity Crisis

By Faridat Salifu

In the midst of South Africa grappling with power cuts, a beacon of hope emerges as Norwegian independent power producer (IPP) Scatec and its esteemed partner, H1 Holdings, inaugurated the operational debut of the transformative Kenhardt solar photovoltaic power stations, encompassing a staggering 540 MW capacity, in the scenic expanse of the Northern Cape province.

This momentous milestone stands as a testament to the resolute commitment of the South African government to expedite the alleviation of the nation’s electricity crisis through a steadfast focus on renewable energies.

Embarking on a visionary trajectory, the Kenhardt solar power stations germinated from the ardor of the Norwegian independent power producer (IPP) Scatec, underscoring an expeditious timeline that culminated in the commencement of electricity production within the Northern Cape province in just over a year since the initiation of construction.

Jan Fourie, Scatec’s Executive Vice President for Sub-Saharan Africa, exuded a sense of triumphant fulfillment as he heralded the transition from the development phase to construction and now to commercial operation, projecting an indomitable role in propelling the realm of green energy generation in South Africa.

The awe-inspiring Kenhardt project unfurled the panorama of three solar photovoltaic power plants, stretching over an expansive 879 hectares.

This monumental venture is bedecked with a profusion of one million solar panels, boasting a collective capacity of 540 MW, accompanied by a storage reservoir endowed with a capacity of 225 MW/1,140 MWh, encompassing 456 battery units.

Emanating as a harbinger of reliability and sustainability, the Kenhardt plants boldly affirm their potential to proffer “150 MW of dispatchable energy from 5 a.m. to 9.30 p.m. all year round to the national grid,” as affirmed by Scatec.

In an epoch-defining synergy of solar and battery technologies, Scatec orchestrates an avant-garde narrative, transcending the confines of intermittency and fortifying grid stability.

Terje Pilskog, the luminary at the helm of the company, extolled the cohesive integration of solar and battery technologies, a reservoir that augments overall reliability and confers steadfast energy accessibility during moments of dearth or absence of sunshine.

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