BOTSWANA – FTC Solar, Inc., a global provider of solar tracker systems, software and engineering services, has announced that it has been awarded its first project in Africa since entering this new market earlier this year.

According to Ali Mortazavi, FTC Solar’s head of Sales and Marketing, the project will be located in Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BUAN) campus and will provide clean solar power for teachers and students working to advance the sciences and local quality of life.

“We’re pleased to announce the first of what we expect will be many projects in Africa for FTC Solar,” said Ali Mortazavi.

“This exciting FTC Solar opportunity represents our initial project on the continent and our first with Soventix, a strong global EPC company with a growing pipeline.”

The project will use FTC Solar’s latest Voyager+ tracker solution, which offers all the advantages of FTC’s two-panel-in-portrait design, including industry-leading installation speeds, high slope tolerance, reduced part count and DC collections advantage, while being optimized for the industry’s new large format solar modules. 

The circa one-megawatt (1MW) project has been developed by AAAS Energy in conjunction with BUAN, with the last mile development and EPC works being undertaken by Soventix, South Africa (Pty) Ltd.

The stated long-term goals of the agrivoltaic plant are to find sustainable solutions for climate resilient practices, associated with the concept of growing crops in the harsh African climate, while mitigating risks associated with agriculture by generating power that can be sold to create a constant revenue stream.

“We are looking forward to working with FTC Solar on this project that features a strong environmental and social component, that specifically supports the university and their research in addressing two of the greatest concerns on the African continent; food security and energy,” Soventix Managing Director for Southern Africa Jean-Paul de Villers said.

“FTC Solar’s differentiated tracker solution and customer-focused approach is a perfect fit for this project.” 

The power produced will be cheaper and support research and data collection with regards to the agrivoltaic concept. The project is expected to begin generating power in early 2022.

This first FTC Solar project represents a meaningful opportunity. The African solar market is expected to install more than 100 gigawatts of solar capacity by 2030, according to a September 2021 Wood Mackenzie report.

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