First Solar's thin-film modules to power Namibian solar park

Africa solar panels TomEggertFLICKRFirst solar technology will power Namibian solar park. (Image Source: Tom Eggert/Flickr)Swiss solar developer HopSol has opted for photovoltaic (PV) manufacturer First Solar’s high-performance thin-film modules to power the Otjozondjupa Solar Park in Namibia

The 5MW facility, which is expected to be completed in June, will be Namibia’s largest grid-connected solar PV plant and will account for one per cent of the country’s total generation capacity.

Powered by more than 52,000 modules, the power plant will supply almost 14,000 MWh per year of electricity to state-owned utility NamPower.

HopSol chairperson Robert Hopperdietzel said, “Our decision to select First Solar’s thin-film modules was primarily driven by the operating conditions in the area. We needed a reliable module technology that will thrive in the hot temperatures that are common in the summer months and also deliver energy in cloudy, low-light conditions. “In fact, by our estimates, thin-film modules deliver up to 10 per cent more energy in Namibia than conventional silicon PV panels.”

The facility will use single-axis tracking technology to increase energy yield by up to 25 per cent.

The project has been estimated to be able to displace enough gasoline per year to drive Namibia’s 1,691 km B1 highway 3,400 times.

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