Solea Renewables takes a giant leap and completes construction of first off-grid 1MW photovoltaic plant in Southern Africa

The evident need for alternative energy sources is increasingly becoming more of a need than an option according to Solea Renewables.

Solea Renewables (Pty) Limited is a South African photovoltaic engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor based in Johannesburg. Solea Renewables has a 26% BEE shareholding. The company is a subsidiary of SOLEA AG, a top ten German photovoltaic EPC company. Solea Renewables’ mission is to become the leading photovoltaic EPC in Southern Africa by delivering its mining, manufacturing, industrial and commercial sector clientele with the highest quality and economically responsible turnkey utility scale PV power plants.


Johannesburg, South Africa, February 2013 – Solea Renewables announced the completion of the first ever off-grid utility scale photovoltaic system in Southern Africa, an evolutionary phase for the energy sector within the continent; a commendable result made possible by the partnering of Solea Renewables and Cronimet Mining Energy SA. The 1 megawatt (MW) plant is set to produce 1.8 GWh of electricity annually.

(from left to right) Rollie Armstrong (Director, Solea Renewables), Moritz Hill (CEO, Cronimet Mining AG), Vusi Mhlanzi (CEO, Solea Renewables) and Anton Schweiger (Solea AG)

Commissioned in November 2012 and having taken a total of eight weeks to construct, the plant is currently operational and performing according to expectations, says Vusi Mhlanzi, CEO of Solea Renewables.


Sized around 2 hectares of land on Cronimet Mining Energy SA’s site in Thabazimbi Limpopo, this is the first project of its nature that has been successfully executed within Southern Africa.


Moritz Hill,  Director of Cronimet  Mining Energy SA, sees this achievement as a great milestone for the continent’s renewable energy production potential.


“Solar PV forms a big part of renewable energy, especially in Europe. Africa has more radiation, which even doubles that of Europe in some regions.  With the country’s increased demand to decrease the reliance on our primary energy provider – Eskom and the continents favourable climate for the harnessing of solar energy, this is only the beginning for projects such as these,” comments Mhlanzi.


He says, “We believe that this industry is currently in its infancy and has tremendous growth potential over the next few years, especially with the current power challenges that the continent is facing, we will begin to see the industry’s full potential.”


With a clear focus on the future, Solea Renewables is looking at spreading their expertise throughout the continent.


“Our target market now is the rest of the continent,” says Mhlanzi. Our targeted clients are big power users such as mining and the industrial sectors. The main aim is to decrease the continent’s reliance of fossil fuels so that we can decrease our carbon footprint.


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