ABB to start production of photovoltaic inverters in South Africa in 2014

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Greentech Lead Europe: ABB has announced plans to start production of central inverters in South Africa to support the rapidly growing local photovoltaic (PV) market and local content requirements.

ABB plans to open the new inverter production line at its existing facilities in Johannesburg in 2014.

The line for its PVS800 range of central inverters will have a production capacity of approximately 500 megawatts (MW) a year. It will produce 630 kilowatt (kW), 875 kW and 1,000 kW central inverters.

The company already produces solar inverters in Estonia, India and China.

South Africa is one of the world’s fastest growing PV solar markets thanks to the government’s commitment to increase power generation from renewable sources under the country’s renewable energy independent power producer procurement program.

ABB has strong presence in South Africa as a producer of power converters.

Ulrich Spiesshofer, head of ABB’s Discrete Automation and Motion division, said, “The region’s energy needs are set to grow with economic expansion and with South Africa looking to benefit from its abundance of sunshine we will be in an even better position to serve our local customers.”

ABB installed its first two 500 kW PV solar projects near Johannesburg in 2011, and has since gained a delivery pipeline of approximately 90 megawatts (MW) of central inverters.

The ABB central inverter series, rated from 100 to1000 kW, is designed for multi-megawatt PV power plants. The inverter series is based on ABB’s highly successful frequency converter platform, which has achieved global sales of more than 100 gigawatts (GW) over the last ten years.

ABB recently was also awarded an order worth $25 million to supply electrical and control systems for a new 75 megawatt (MW) photovoltaic (PV) power plant in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa.

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