ABB delivers locally manufactured inverter solutions for 86 MWp solar plant in South Africa

2015-11-26 - ABB is strengthening its position in the solar market in South Africa by delivering packaged inverter solutions for an 86 megawatt-peak (MWp) project near Prieska in South Africa. This packaged inverter solution comprises locally manufactured inverter stations and medium voltage (MV) transformer stations with related services.

The project has been developed by Mulilo Sonnedix and is being built by juwi Renewable Energies who is the full EPC partner on the project. The site is located in the Northern Cape region of South Africa close to Prieska, and forms part of the REIPPPP* round 3 projects.

The nominal rating of the project is 75 megawatts (MW) alternating current. The photovoltaic (PV) plant feeds the power to the national high-voltage grid. The deliveries started on 4 November 2015, supporting the target of a rapid connection to the distribution network in May 2016.

ABB’s scope of delivery includes forty PVS800-IS inverter stations, each rated at 2 MW and containing two PVS800 central inverters, and their respective MV stations with 2.4 megavolt-ampere transformers and ring main units (RMUs). ABB PVS800 central inverters and inverter stations are manufactured in ABB’s Johannesburg facilities, as are the 22 kilovolt RMUs. Together with the locally manufactured medium voltage transformer, the local content of ABB’s delivery is approximately 60 percent. The hardware delivery is supplemented with a service offering that includes training, commissioning and local support for the years to come.

“The high efficiency, reliability and easy-to-maintain industrial design of our inverters, together with our local service and support capabilities, are the key success factors for ABB PVS800 central inverters in South Africa. All these, together with the high local content that ABB is able to provide, offer customers a real, bankable solution that we are able to support for years to come in South Africa,” says Silviu Martinescu, manager of ABB’s Power Conversion business unit in South Africa. “We are further developing our service organization in the region to meet the increasing installed base, as I expect more deliveries to come.”

According to Martinescu, “Based on the latest estimates, just in South Africa, an impressive 1.041 gigawatts of PV capacity are expected to be installed within a three-year period through to 2018. ABB’s wide portfolio of different sizes of inverters and its other products for the solar industry give customers an attractive one-stop shopping opportunity for packaged solutions for different sizes and types of plants.”

The ABB PVS800-IS inverter station, rated from 1.75 to 2 MW, is designed for multi-megawatt PV power plants. The inverter station uses two 875 kW or 1,000 kW PVS800 central inverters. Depending on the size of the PV power plant, several ABB inverter stations can be combined to meet the needed capacity. With a wide list of approvals and with advanced and flexible grid support functions, the inverter station meets all the applicable network connection requirements, regardless of where the project is located.

To help meet bankability requirements and secure the highest return on investment, ABB supports its customers with a dedicated global service network providing a complete range of life cycle services in more than 60 countries.

ABB provides the most comprehensive portfolio of products, systems, solutions and services along the solar PV value chain that enable the generation, transmission and distribution of solar power for grid-connected and microgrid applications. ABB’s offering includes inverters, low-voltage products, monitoring and control systems, grid connection, stabilization and integration products, as well as complete electrical balance of plant solutions. ABB also offers a wide range of support and maintenance services, including remote operations and diagnostics, helping ensure solar installations deliver optimal performance.

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 140,000 people. ABB established its operations in South Africa in 1992. Currently, ABB is present across South Africa, with about 1,200 employees as well as manufacturing facilities in Longmeadow and Alrode. ABB’s Sub-Saharan service hub and training center is located in Johannesburg.

*REIPPPP Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Program

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    ABB PVS800-IS inverter station


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