Tom Burke Solar Project National Key Point

TOM BURKE — On 20 September, Enel Green Power South Africa (EGP RSA) held an event commemorating its Tom Burke photovoltaic power plant, declared a National Key Point on 30 June 2017.
Tom Burke is Enel Green Power’s first large scale solar project using thin film photovoltaic panels in South Africa.
Located in South Africa’s Limpopo province, and with an installed capacity of 66 MW, the Tom Burke photovoltaic power plant reached early generation and COD during August 2016. The site was declared a National Key Point in line with South Africa’s National Key Point Act (1980), and in acknowledgement of its strategic importance of feeding 122 GWh per year into the national grid and its provision of electricity supply to nine villages in the Lephalale region of the Limpopo province.
Tom Burke is situated on 202 hectares and can generate up to 122 GWh per year, while avoiding the emission of over 111 000 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 360 MWh per day. This is enough energy to power approximately 200 000 rural households daily.
During the O&M phase the solar plant is closely monitored via an on-site control room, as well as EGP RSA’s state-of-the art 24 hour centralised control room in Sandton. The monitoring allows for an analysis of Tom Burke’s performance at inverter level, allowing the plant’s staff to immediately address potential issues and maximise efficiencies wherever possible. The solar panels are also cleaned twice yearly to maximise output.
William Price, Country Manager in South Africa said: “South Africa is a resource-rich country and we are proud to provide an increasingly integrated offering and a strong renewable energy generation base. We firmly believe that by taking advantage of renewable energies we can improve electrification in Southern Africa and incorporate current and available technologies to bridge the gap between supply and demand for energy.”

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