March 23, 2017

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Robust containerised electrical generation for Africa

substation

Over and above PV solutions, CONCO Energy Solutions has introduced containerised substation solutions to its mining-specific product range, bringing about much needed convenience to power starved clients.

 CONCO Energy Solutions (CONCO ES), a subsidiary of CONCO, Africa’s largest service provider of power infrastructure solutions, has invested in the development of containerised substation solutions, which address the requirement of mobile electrical generation in the harshest environments in Africa. The containerised substations can be built and transported anywhere, negating the need to build traditional, time consuming, brick and mortar substations.

Being already established in providing secondary plant solutions, CONCO ES is able to kit the containerised substations with protection and automation equipment to each customer’s specifications with high voltage and medium voltage equipment. It is even possible to house a complete Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system, which can be monitored on or off-site.

PV installations

Above and beyond containerised substations, CONCO ES has introduced to the market innovative solar photovoltaic (PV) solutions that will assist mining companies to lower their operational expenditure.

Says Business Development Manager, Frank Spencer: “Our offerings are fully wrapped engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services for PV solutions, which include both commercial and utility grid-tied PV installations, as well as hybrid and mini-grid solutions. The solutions combine options around diesel, solar, battery and payment systems, and may be ground-mounted (tracker or fixed-tilt) or installed on rooftops. The two main applications for this technology in mining, are on-grid, where solar PV can result in operational expenditure reduction in terms of electricity purchases, and more interesting, off-grid, where the solar plant can be hybridised with existing diesel or Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) plants, resulting in fuel savings and a significant reduction in operational expenditure.”

Constantly increasing need

The constantly increasing need to provide electricity to harsh and remote environments motivated CONCO ES to deliver these solutions throughout South Africa and most of Sub-Saharan Africa, with plans to deliver throughout the African continent. Such projects have already been piloted in Australia and Africa, and the interest amongst the mining sector is growing quickly.

Solar PV solutions have already become a very popular option for many utilities throughout the African continent due to an abundance of solar radiation, the ever-increasing cost of grid electricity and the ongoing reduction in solar PV plant costs. Solar PV plants are now one of the lowest cost producers of energy, with a fixed long term energy generation cost, and a proven bankable track record. In addition, many private commercial customers are now purchasing solar PV plants to save on electricity costs and reduce their dependency on grid electricity. This is especially true in South Africa where the rooftop solar PV market is growing exponentially.

The renewable energy market is not an entirely new venture for CONCO ES. Within the last three years, the company has completed a number of solar and wind farm projects. Having been a supplier of Facility SCADA Solutions, Power Plant Controllers, as well as completely integrated Smart Grid-enabled automation and control solutions for renewable energy production projects, CONCO ES has become a formidable player in the traditional and renewable energy sectors.

The respect that CONCO ES is awarded in the industry is evidence of the technical accuracy that goes into the design and production of each custom and standard project. Each project is handled by specialist teams consisting of qualified and highly experienced engineers, with each stage of production taking place only a few metres from the project engineer’s office. This allows CONCO ES to not only take full responsibility for each solution, but also ensures that every aspect of the project meets the company’s highest standards.

 

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