Compared with other places around the globe, South Africa ranks among the sunniest. It gets some the highest average number of hours of sunshine per day: 8.5 hours compared with 3.8 in London, 6.4 in Rome and 6.9 in New York. So it makes sense that someone would want to build a giant solar farm there.
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Renewable energy company SolarReserve, headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., is one such place. This month they announced they had the Jasper solar farm, located near Kimberley in South Africa, running at full capacity. The 96 MW installation is Africa’s largest solar power project.
About 325,000 photovoltaic modules will deliver 180,000 megawatt-hours of renewable electricity annually to region. That’s enough to power 80,000 homes.
Like other countries around the world, South Africa is trying to reduce carbon emissions as well as increase renewable energy sources. They’ve set a goal of having 18 gigawatts of clean energy online by 2030. The Jasper project is one such installation getting the country closer to its goal.
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The Jasper project is one of a few big solar power plants coming online in Africa. In 2015, the 155-megawatt Nzema project in Ghana will provide that country with electricity. And Morocco aims to build several solar energy plants that will generate 2,000 megawatts of electricity by the year 2020.
Let it shine.