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Tom Burke solar plant in South Africa strategically positioned

Enel Green Power South Africa (EGP RSA) celebrates its Tom Burke solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant, located on a site declared a National Key Point in Limpopo Province.
According to a company statement, the project marks the IPPs’ first large-scale solar project and first thin film photovoltaic (PV) panels in the country.
The power plant, with an installed capacity of 66MW, reached early generation and commercial operation date in August 2016.
Tom Burke solar power plant in strategic position
The location of the site where the solar plant is was a National Key Point. The declaration of this Key Point was in line with South Africa’s National Key Point Act (1980).
Furthermore, it is in acknowledgement of its strategic importance of feeding 122GWh per year into the national grid. It will also provide electricity supply to nine villages in the Lephalale region.
Also read:Enel Green Power celebrates its Tom Burke solar plant in South Africa
The company statement highlighted that Tom Burke occupying 202 hectares. It can avoid the emission of over 1,11000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere each year.
After reaching COD the plant moved into its operations and maintenance (O&M) phase, producing an average energy output of 350 to 360MWh per day, enough to power approximately 200,000 rural households daily.
O&M phase
During the O&M phase, the solar plant was closely monitored via an on-site control room, as well as the company’s 24-hour centralized control room in Sandton, north of Johannesburg.
The monitoring allows for an analysis of the solar power plant’s performance at inverter level. This allows the plant’s staff to immediately address potential issues and maximize efficiencies wherever possible.
Cleaning of the solar panels is twice yearly to maximize output.
Country manager in South Africa, William Price, said that South Africa is a resource-rich country. “We are also proud to provide an increasingly integrated offering and a strong renewable energy generation base.”
He further added, “We firmly believe that by taking advantage of renewable energies we can improve electrification in Southern Africa.  Additionally, we will incorporate current and available technologies to bridge the gap between supply and demand for energy.”

Source: Construction review

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