Sibanye Gold planned to invest in a 200MW ground-mounted PV facility at the company’s project base in South Africa. The PV facility was being developed to offset the company’s energy demand from the grid, resulting in lower operational costs

Arup undertook the concept design and basic design based on the 1500V technology, which enabled the use of fewer inverters, fewer string monitor boxes and shorter return DC cables, reducing costs. We used more PV modules per inverter, reducing the number of access roads needed.

We also provided technical support for the environmental authorisations and permits required.Thanks to this facility, Sibanye Gold was able to offset its energy demand from the grid, resulting in lower operational costs.On completion, the PV facility was one of the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.

Providing crucial technical input

We provided technical input into the developer bidding process and oversaw the technical evaluations of bid responses, which allowed us to reduce costs from the early stages of the project. Due diligence on tracker structures tilting and a cost analysis determined that the tracking of panels was not feasible, leading to a reduction in cost. Further analysis assessed a phased rate of construction in order to cut construction costs and minimise loss of energy disruptions.