ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, plans to start production of central inverters in South Africa to support the rapidly growing local photovoltaic (PV) market and local content requirements.
ABB plans to open the new inverter production line at its existing facilities in Johannesburg in 2014. The line for its PVS800 range of central inverters will have a production capacity of approximately 500 megawatts (MW) a year. It will produce 630 kilowatt (kW), 875 kW and 1,000 kW central inverters.
The company already produces solar inverters in Estonia, India and China.
ABB has a long-established presence in South Africa as a producer of power converters, and has a dedicated service organization complete with training center to support its expansion. South Africa is one of the world’s fastest growing PV solar markets thanks to the government’s commitment to increase power generation from renewable sources under the country’s renewable energy independent power producer procurement program.
“With this investment in a new production line, ABB further reinforces its position as a global renewables leader with attention to local market needs,” said Ulrich Spiesshofer, head of ABB’s Discrete Automation and Motion division. “The region’s energy needs are set to grow with economic expansion and with South Africa looking to benefit from its abundance of sunshine we will be in an even better position to serve our local customers.”
ABB installed its first two 500 kW PV solar projects near Johannesburg in 2011, and has since gained a delivery pipeline of approximately 90 megawatts (MW) of central inverters.
The ABB central inverter series, rated from 100 to1000 kW, is designed for multi-megawatt PV power plants. The inverter series is based on ABB’s highly successful frequency converter platform, which has achieved global sales of more than 100 gigawatts (GW) over the last ten years.
ABB has been in the solar business since the early 1990s and has a well-diversified solar portfolio including products and solutions along the entire solar value chain. ABB offers a complete portfolio of solar inverters for the PV market, as well as plant optimization systems, grid integration, low-voltage products, and remote operations and maintenance for all types of solar power generation.