The 540 MW of solar generation capacity and 1.14 GWh of energy storage awarded to Norwegian developer Scatec to help keep the lights on in South Africa recently is the biggest project award of what trade body the Africa Solar Industry Association (AFSIA) has described as “an unprecedented series of large scale” PV facilities on the continent.
The membership organization has recorded 1,879 MW of utility scale solar and storage project announcements in the five weeks since the start of June, it said in a post on its website.
Scatec’s Kenhardt project – awarded in a coal-exempt but otherwise technology-neutral ‘risk-mitigation’ tender held by the South African government to address frequent grid failings – was the largest of the recent awards, which also included seven project announcements for total generation capacity of 70 MW in Zimbabwe among a list of facilities across 18 nations.
FSIA noted the re-emergence of the World Bank’s Scaling Solar campaign as an important driver in generation capacity, following the initiative’s failure to deliver an anticipated hundreds of megawatts of photovoltaics in Ethiopia. This year, said the trade body on Wednesday, the program has delivered plans for 50 MW of solar in Niger, 60 MW in Cote d’Ivoire and 190 MW in Togo.