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Tenesol to supply 33MW of modules from Cape Town factory

SunPower has unveiled details regarding the two PV projects won by its subsidiary Tenesol in South Africa's first renewables tender, with the modules to be produced locally.

France-based PV manufacturer and integrator Tenesol, which was acquired by SunPower in early 2012, will build 33MW of ground-mounted capacity for its local partners in the Northern Cape province.

The 22MW Herbert project has already started construction, while the 11MW Greefspan project will break ground in the coming weeks. Both are slated for completion in the second-quarter of 2014, with Tenesol to maintain a 5% stake.

Tenesol will produce 138,000 modules for the two projects out of its factory in Cape Town, one of its largest orders in years. Tenesol has operated the South African factory for more than a decade, where it has made PV kit for both the on- and off-grid market -- much of the latter associated with the oil and gas sector.

Tenesol was long owned jointly by French oil and gas giant Total and EDF. Last year Total gained full control of the company, shortly before buying California-based SunPower. Since then, it has folded Tenesol into SunPower.

Financing for the two Northern Cape projects was secured in November, with the electricity to be sold to Eskom.