Napoleon’s place of exile gets solar: Solar energy by SolarWorld on St Helena connection to the grid of 500 kWp solar systems

Going forward, the island of St Helena in the Atlantic Ocean will now be able to supply more than a third of its energy needs from renewable sources. SolarWorld has provided the modules for the two largest solar power plants on the island. St Helena became famous as the place of exile of Napoleon Bonaparte. Today the island near the west coast of Africa formally belongs to the UK. Following the installation of SolarWorld photovoltaic modules, the island now has the highest proportion of wind and solar energy feeding into the grid out of all regions in the UK.

Due to increased energy costs and a high dependency on imports, the local utility company Connect Saint Helena Ltd. (CSH) started to convert electricity generation from diesel to renewable energy resources. Approximately 2,300 SolarWorld modules will now produce clean solar power on the island. Through the use of solar power around 300,000 liters of diesel can be saved each year. Like many small islands, St Helena has mainly relied on diesel generators for power generation in the past.

The long term solar initiative was launched three years ago: In 2012, one of SolarWorld’s partners, Sustainable Power Solutions (Pty) Ltd. (SPS), an engineering, procurement and construction company, was appointed by CSH to design and install the first solar power plant as part of a pilot project on the island. In 2013 and 2014, further projects followed, including a rooftop system, which supplies the local power station. This year, Sustainable Power Solutions was appointed by CSH once again to design and build a large ground-mounted system using SolarWorld modules, adding another 500 kWp of renewable energy to the grid.

„We are pleased that SolarWorld has been selected as supplier to St Helena. In such projects, all depends on quality, durability and weather resistance. If you want to be on the safe side, SolarWorld quality is key,“ said Gregor Küpper, Managing Director of SOLARWORLD Africa (Pty) Ltd. For years, SolarWorld has been present in the South African market, with its products made in Germany and made in USA. In Sub- Saharan Africa, the company is one of the most successful solar module manufacturers in the region.

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