AEG Power Solutions has made a significant investment in South Africa with the construction of a premium manufacturing facility for its utility-scale solar inverters and skytron combiner boxes for its world class monitoring and control solutions. The factory, based in Montague Park in Milnerton, just outside of Cape Town, is 3,400 sqm, with the capacity to produce at least 200 MW per annum. The South African company has been registered and is operating under the same name as the group’s holding: 3W Power and is selling under the AEG brand.
It is estimated that there are around 1.5 billion people around the world who do not have access to electricity. Of these, approximately one third live in Africa. Currently, around 90% of South Africa’s electricity is generated from coal-fired power plants and fewer than 40% of South African households have access to mains electricity. Throughout the year, South Africa receives more than 2,500 hours of sunlight – more than twice the insolation available in most parts of Europe. In 2010, the South African government approved plans calling for the development of 18 GW of renewable energy by 2030, of which 8,400 MW are allocated for solar.
The group opened its first South African office in 2010, expanding upon its truly global footprint with facilities already operational in China, India, Germany, France and Spain. The new South African facility has a similar footprint to the Indian plant, opened last year. It will bring the same range of first rate products to the African solar market. Employees have been trained in Germany and are bringing premium technical skills back to Africa to increase the level of expertise available to their customers.
The plant will be officially inaugurated in September 2012, but has already started manufacturing the PV.500 Inverters and 1MW TKS Solar Containers, with 13 employees and will ramp up to the PV.630 and PV.800 by the end of 2012.
As a consequence of its investment, AEG Power Solutions will add substantial value to South Africa’s business environment and generate further interest and international investment in the emerging African solar power segment.
“The South African government has committed to installing 8,400 MW of solar power by 2030. The cost-effectiveness and sustainability of solar radiation as a power source have made it an attractive and viable energy alternative to fossil fuels in Africa. This factory will allow us to contribute to the commitment made by the South African state while proving our own commitment to the local economy,” states Trevor de Vries, Managing Director of 3W Power/AEG Power Solutions, South Africa. “ Solar power markets are set to boom around the world over the coming years with South Africa, and Africa in general, being seen as a future powerhouse for the worldwide solar industry. With our long heritage in providing high quality, robust and efficient power solutions delivering power to the grid, we are extremely well placed strategically to assist forward thinking governments in delivering on their promises,” expands Mr. de Vries.