Construction of a solar plant of 1 MW AC at the Welkom Campus of the Central University of Technology

Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT) is one of the higher education institutions in the heartland of South Africa, located in Bloemfontein, the judicial capital of South Africa, and Welkom, a major gold mining sector in the country. The two campuses bring quality education and training in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM); as well as Management Sciences, Humanities and Education to the Central Region.

The CUT (then known as the Technikon Free State), opened its doors in 1981 with 285 students enrolled in mainly secretarial, art and design programmes. Currently the institution has more than 21 735 students who have decided to make CUT their academic partner in earning a qualification and gaining appropriate work-integrated-learning to equip and prepare them for professional practice.

With the restructuring of the higher education landscape a few years ago, the CUT embraced its new status as a university of technology and thus positioned itself to succeed as such. The CUT delivers high quality higher education and training in applied sciences in the following four faculties: Engineering and Information Technology, Health and Environmental Sciences, Humanities, and Management Sciences.

The Central University of Technology in collaboration with PURCO SA initiated an open tender process that required suitable service providers to submit proposals to design, construct, commission and maintain for 12 months a solar plant of 1 MW using double axis tracking modules according to an optimised model, at the Welkom campus of the Central University of Technology. This phase of implementation in Welkom will be in the indicated area only and not on rooftops. 

The appointed suitable service provider's duties included: to perform all professional services as necessary, to provide CUT with a complete turn-key project package.

  • Design, construct, commission, maintain and monitor for 12 months a solar (PV) plant of 1 MW using double-axis tracking modules according to an optimised model, inverters, all cables (DC, LV, MV), and ancillaries including the complete MV works for grid connection to the main campus 11kV feeder.
  • Installations of three phase power meters with inbuilt logging capabilities to monitor the electrical energy produced by the solar PV plant (Be able to see this through web platform).
  • Installation of a mini-weather station to obtain weather condition data (solar irradiance, wind space, wind directions, ambient temperature, relative humidity). Also linked to the web platform.
  • 2.4m perimeter fence (ClearVu or similar approved).
  • 4 x CCTV cameras mounted on the four corners of the perimeter and linked to protection services control room.

The Central University of Technology and PURCO SA congratulates SEM Solution (Pty) Ltd, the successful service provider in the public tender process for the design, construct, commission and maintain for 12 months a solar plant of 1 MW. 

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