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ABB wins $225m order for two South African PV arrays

ABB has won a $225m order to design, build and install two PV arrays totalling 64MW in South Africa, less than a week after SunEdison bagged financing for the projects.

In addition to building the arrays, ABB will also supply much of the kit in-house – including inverters, switchgears, controllers and a substation.

The last major turnkey PV order ABB revealed was earlier this year in Bulgaria, where it delivered two arrays totalling 57MW using modules from Swiss-Chinese manufacturer ILB Helios.

ABB has been among the world’s most eclectic solar-energy investors, having taken stakes in a broad range of technologies. ABB is part-owner of concentrating solar power specialist (CSP) Novatec, which recently brought the world’s first utility-scale CSP plant using linear Fresnel technology on line.

This autumn it unexpectedly pulled its financial backing from California-based concentrating PV start-up GreenVolts, less than a year after it invested in the firm via its venture-capital arm.

Only last week SunEdison, the project-development subsidiary of MEMC, announced it had pinned down R2.6bn ($314m) in long-term debt and equity finance for two first-round South African projects in the northern province of Limpopo. It put the total capacity of the projects at 58MW.

SunEdison has partnered with China’s Chint Group – owner of thin-film module maker Astronergy – for the projects.