SunPower today announced that it has begun construction on the 86MW Prieska solar power plant in South Africa's Northern Cape province. Expected to be fully operational in 2016, the project represents the third solar power plant constructed by SunPower under the South Africa government's renewable energy program (REIPPP).
"With an abundance of reliable, cost-effective solar resources, South Africa is one of the fastest growing solar markets in the world today," said Tom Werner, president and CEO of SunPower, a global provider of solar technology and energy services. "We are pleased to grow our presence in South Africa with the development of solar power plants that enable South Africa's government to achieve its renewable goals, and look forward to continuing to serve the region with the opening of our new solar panel manufacturing plant this year."
SunPower designed and is constructing the Prieska project, and will provide operations and maintenance services once it is operational. The project will sell the electricity it produces to the regional public utility ESKOM under a power purchase agreement. Approximately 700 jobs will be created by the project during construction. SunPower Oasis Power Plant technology will be installed at the Prieska site.