GPTech's first PV Plant in South Africa


GPTech participates in the construction and start-up of a PV plant in South Africa with more than 37 MW of installed capacity. This project has been possible through the agreement signed last year with the South African company CBI-electric, with which both companies fulfilled the requirements demanded by the South African government in the Integrated Resource Plan.

This project was selected in the first round of the IPP Procurement Program. For GPTech, it is the first PV plant where CPV panels are used. Cells belonging to these panels adjust constantly to the position of the sun in order to achieve larger efficiency power generation than the rest of solar technologies.

For this facility, GPTech has provided 60 units of the Smart PV630WD inverter, as well as a Power Plant Controller (PPC) that controls the operation of all installed equipment in order that the PV plant meets the legal requirements in the point of connection to the electric grid.

The PPC pursues different functions. It allows the restriction of the maximum power offered by PV inverters (curtailment) if the electric grid demands it when the power generation is very high (active power absolute constraint). This device also regulates the rate at which inverters produce active power, the energy generation increases progressively (active power ramp-rate). This function avoids sudden changes in the power generation due to inclement weather or external agents and, therefore, avoids possible disturbances in the electric grid.

On the other hand, the PPC guarantess voltage control, based on QV curves, and manages the reactive power required at any moment. Besides, it presents power factor control. This function sets the ratio of real power to apparent power, allowing for sourcing or sinking of VARs to maintain voltage and increase efficiency in the power system.

The facility will start operating soon. Additionally, GPTech counts in its pipeline with several projects in the area. Together with this PV plant, GPTech also expects the start of the manufacture and sale of its integral solution for PV-Diesel hybrid generation plants by the end of 2014.

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