About Droogfontein Solar Power

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Project Description

The Droogfontein Solar Power project is located 20km outside Kimberley, in the Sol Plaatje Municapality in the Northern Cape. It occupies approximately 100 hectares...
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Project Fact Sheet

Droogfontein Solar Power is one of the first solar power projects in South Africa. It is part of the South African Government’s REIPPP. The...
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Project Partners

Droogfontein Solar Power has been made possible by the dedication and commitment of many participants including the Government of South Africa, the Department of...
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About Solar Energy

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How Energy is Created from the Sun

The sun supplies more than enough energy to provide earth with all of its energy requirements, but technology is required to harness this energy...
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The Solar Panel

The Droogfontein Solar Power Project consists of 168 720 Suntech STP 290/295, 24Vd 290/295 Watt solar panels, each with a capacity of 290 and...
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Environmental Benefits

Solar power is a clean, renewable energy source. There are many environmental benefits of solar energy, including: Use of solar generation reduces the reliance...
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What are PV panels manufactured from?

“Poly-silicon” or polycrystalline silicon

Is PV safe?

PV Modules are safe on their own, but when connected special care should be taken as there are high electrical currents and as with all electrical operations, only qualified competent people should be involved in the operations and construction process.

Are the PV panels expensive to manufacture?

This depends on method of manufacturing; mono crystalline is more expensive than poly crystalline. During the recent years (5 to 10) the cost of panel manufacturing in South Africa has reduced dramatically and given the decrease in costs, PV panel installations are almost at grid parity to the rest of world.

What is the expected life span of a solar panel?

A PV panel can generate power and energy for over 40-years, but the expected lifetime of a panel is 20 to 25 years of optimal production. Each year the panel will lose some generating capacity, not a lot but some.

What is the most likely way a panel can be damaged?

Damage to PV panels is most likely to be caused by blunt force i.e. rocks, hammers or people jumping on them. They are rated and tested against quite large forces and hail or heavy rain will not cause damage.

Does dust hinder the amount of energy being produced?

Dust can reduce the ability to generate at maximum, but only slightly.

What happens at night?

As there is no light at night, no energy will be produced. The PV plant will import energy from the utility to keep operations on site going.

How are the PV panels cleaned and the area maintained?

The PV panels are cleaned manually. There will be a staff of 16 local people responsible for panel cleaning and vegetation control. They will work early and late, to avoid interrupting production during the high sun hours.

How long does it take to install a single panel?

A single table containing 95 modules can be installed in less than 30 minute by a trained labourer i.e. 20 seconds per PV panel.

Will the PV panel generate energy in cloudy and rainy conditions?

The panels will generate energy if any light falls on it, cloud causes indirect light and this is also good enough for the panels. Power generated is directly proportional of the amount of irradiance (light) falling on the panel. So if reduced the panel will have a reduced output.

How does the cost/energy production ratio compare to wind energy?

Solar is still more expensive than wind at this stage, with cost per MW higher than that of wind.

Does Droogfontein Solar Power have any poisonous snakes or spiders on site?

South Africa is known for having poisonous snakes, however the activity on site has scared of most of the reptiles. The site also takes progressive and intensive measures to ensure the safety of both the snakes and the people on site.  If any snakes are found a professional snake handler to a safe location removes them.

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Contact Us

051 250 4200

You are welcome to contact us via the below form. Please be careful to select the correct category from the drop down list.

Click here for site map and directions.

Site Map & Directions

From Kimberley Airport:

  • Head northwest on Maroela St toward Oliver Rd/ N8
  • Partial restricted usage road
  • Take the 2nd left onto OliverRd/ N8
  • At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto Memorial Rd
  • Turn left onto Du Toitspan Rd
  • Continue onto N12
  • Turn right onto Phakamile Mabija Rd/ N12
  • Turn left into Droogfontein Solar Power

Please click on the below link for Droogfontein Solar Power directions and site map.

Droogfontein site directions



Tuesday 17/09/2013

  • 1 load via route N2
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Monday 09/09/2013

  • 1 load via route N2
  • 1 load via route R334
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Majority shareholder, Globeleq is jointly managing the construction of Droogfontein Solar and will play a key role as the management company during operations.