HopSol Selects First Solar
Posted 29 February 2016 5:00 AM by First Solar
HopSol AG, a Swiss solar developer, has selected First Solar's thin-film PV modules to power the
Otjozondjupa Solar Park, which is located near Grootfontein, Namibia. When completed in June 2016, the 5
megawatt (MW)AC facility will be Namibia’s largest grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) plant and is expected
to account for approximately one percent of the country’s total generation capacity.
The utility-scale project is being developed by HopSol Africa, a subsidiary of the Zurich-headquartered
company. Powered by over 52,000 First Solar modules, the power plant will supply almost 14,000 megawatthours
(MWh) of electricity per year, to the state-owned utility company, NamPower.
“Our decision to select First Solar’s thin film modules was primarily driven by the operating conditions in the
area. We needed a reliable module technology that would thrive in the hot temperatures that are common in
the summer months and also deliver energy in cloudy, low-light conditions. In fact, by our estimates, thin film
modules deliver up to 10% percent more energy in Namibia than conventional silicon PV panels,” said Dr.
Robert Hopperdietzel, Chairman, HopSol AG. “First Solar has a proven track record in delivering an energy
yield advantage in challenging environmental conditions and there is no doubt that its thin film modules are
the right choice for southern Africa.”
The facility will utilize single-axis tracking technology to maximize energy yield by up to 25% percent and will
generate enough energy to power approximately 3,700 average households in Namibia. The country has a
total generation capacity of approximately 430MW and imports over half of its power from the Southern
African Power Pool (SAPP). By generating clean energy from sunlight, the project will displace the need for the
equivalent of 300,000 liters of gasoline per year - sufficient for a car to drive the 1691-kilometer length of the
Namibia’s B1 highway, over 3,400 times.
Significantly, the project will displace an estimated 19,000 metrics tons of water per year since PV solar
requires no water for power generation and, on a lifecycle basis, consumes less water than most other
conventional and renewable generation technologies in the production process. With the smallest carbon
footprint, lowest life cycle water use, and fastest energy payback time in the industry, First Solar’s thin-film PV
modules provide a sustainable solution to climate change, water scarcity, and energy security.
“The Otjozondjupa Solar Park exemplifies Namibia’s ambitions of energy security and demonstrates the role
that cost competitive solar can play in an independent power production ecosystem,” said Nasim Khan, Vice
President for Africa, at First Solar. “As Namibia continues to shore up its generation capacity by adding
renewables to its portfolio, HopSol’s project will, no doubt, stand out as a singular example of the sustainable
development of solar energy in the country.”