Canadian Solar Inc. announced that its majority-owned subsidiary CSI Solar Co., Ltd. ("CSI Solar") signed a 256 MW solar module contract with SOLA Group, a Cape Town-based independent power producer. The 256 MWs will supply the first two largest utility-scale solar power projects in South Africa, which are based on private power purchase agreements (PPAs).
The two solar projects are 126 MWp and 130 MWp each in size, located in South Africa's North West Province. Both projects are developed and will be operated by SOLA Group and its partners. Construction started in October 2022, and commercial operation is planned for the first quarter of 2024.
Canadian Solar will deliver a total of 390,073 BiHiKu7 modules. The BiHiKu7 CS7N-MB-AG are bifacial modules based on 210mm wafers, and have a power output of up to 670W and an efficiency of up to 21.6%. The BiHiKu7 modules are a perfect fit for utility-scale projects, with great savings on the mounting structure and cable at system level and reduce BoS (Balance of System) and LCOE (Levelized Cost of Energy) costs compared to modules with smaller wafer size. The BiHiKu7 modules are also compatible with most inverters and trackers.
These two solar power projects cover an area of approximately 430ha. Once in operation, they are estimated to generate approximately 580 GWh of clean, renewable electricity every year, equivalent to powering 40,000 households and reducing 595 tons CO2 emissions each year.
Dom Wills, CEO of SOLA Group commented, "These are the first solar projects of this scale in South Africa that are based on private power purchase agreements. It's also a great plus for the country that these projects are 100% South African owned, financed, constructed, operated and managed. We hope the model of private power through bilateral agreements becomes more widely adopted. The benefits to the end user are competition, choice and ultimately a more diverse contribution to the power system."
Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar commented, "We are pleased to work with SOLA Group on these two solar power projects. This is a great achievement and an important step in South Africa's plan to allow more flexible electricity trading by opening up the grid," Dr. Qu continued, "I'm glad our BiHiKu7 modules have been selected for these projects due to its high product quality, reliability and LCOE cost savings. We look forward to contributing further to the growth of renewable energy in Africa and globally with our high performance/price ratio products."
The SOLA Group is a vertically integrated independent power producer and a leader in the supply of clean energy solutions to private companies in Africa. SOLA's mission is to transform Africa through clean energy.