AU Optronics today announced that it has successfully completed a 1.2 megawatt (MW) solar project in South Africa for ESKOM, the largest utility in South Africa, before the end of the 2011 United Nations 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17).
The project includes a tracking system PV power plant in Lethabo, South Africa and a ground-mounted PV power plant in Kendal, South Africa. By using AUO's high-efficiency solar module SunForte PM318B00, the two power plants can generate a total of 2,200,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) for 1,500 households. This is AUO's first expansion into the African market after having finished a nearly 5MW project, a large solar park in the UK.
AUOs_South_African_Solar_ProjectAUO cooperated with partners to accomplish South Africa's solar project, which is in comparison to the thermal power plant beside it.
South Africa is not only the host of COP17 but also proactively developed its renewable energy recently and is driving its first local solar utility project. This is a 1.2MW project which includes two power plants. One is a 600 kilowatt (kW) tracking system PV power plant with AUO's high-efficiency module SunForte PM318B00 in Lethabo, which can generate 1,200,000kWh for 800 households. The other is a 600kW ground-mounted PV power plant in Kendal that can generate 1,000,000kWh for 700 households in the region nearby.
AUO started to develop its solar business in 2008 and formed a high-efficiency vertical solar value chain to provide customers with high-quality modules and solar power project services. With its global operations and local delivery, AUO's module capacity leaps to a leading position in Taiwan. The company focuses on high-efficiency solar modules, which are well-known and popular worldwide. AUO's back content solar modules that reach more than 19.5% conversion efficiency rate have been successfully produced in Taiwan. To meet the demand of Asian customers for high-efficiency utilities and large-scale projects, AUO will increase its capacity by more than 50MW in the first quarter of 2012.
In the Czech Republic, AUO's PV factory has recently obtained Italy's ICIM and Germany's TÜV Rheinland certifications to prove its "Made in Europe" modules. It has also successfully obtained UL1703 certification in the US. The PV factory in the Czech Republic is currently at full capacity. To fulfill the European orders, the company will install new equipment in the Czech Republic's PV factory to boost its capacity this quarter.