De Aar Solar Farm

Landmarks / Miscellaneous in or near De Aar, Upper Karoo in the Northern Cape, South Africa.

Northern Cape Tourist AttractionsDe Aar Solar Farm

Where? De Aar, Northern Cape, South Africa

How? Call +27 (0)21 180-4500

Overnight? Accommodation in De Aar, in Northern Cape

South Africa's biggest solar plant lies just outside of the Northern Cape town of De Aar, Known as De Aar 3, the solar power plant uses 167 580 amorphous silicon thin-film solar photovoltaics that stand in long rows on the desert farm dubbed 'Lego land' by Pascal Phelan, the farm's owner and the man behind the building of the plant.

Not only is this the largest solar farm in the country, but it is also the largest ever completed (March 2016) in the Southern Hemisphere, Africa and the Middle East. It generates 332 000 MWh.

The Northern Cape is one of the hottest parts of the country, with some of the highest irradiation levels in the world. It is regarded as a solar 'hot bed'.

PV panels generate energy when any light falls on them. Even clouds cause indirect light, providing enough light for the panels to generate power. The amount of power generated is proportional to the amount of light that falls on the panels.

The solar farm began as a decision by farmer and entrepreneur, Pascal Phelan, to convert his game farm, near Kimberley, into a solar farm as he explained: renewable energy in South Africa is an entrepreneur's business.

The plant went up as part of the country's REIPPPP (Renewable Energy IPP Procurement Programme) with foreign investment. Around 2 000 jobs were created during the construction phase, whilst 100 local employees now maintain the plant. Over R34 million will go towards economic development of the community, such as free Wi-Fi for the town, and a large community training centre.

The REIPPPP has been a hugely successful venture on the part of government in driving the country's investment in renewable energy.

By comparison, the government's dogged pursuit of nuclear - to install a power plant takes between 12 and 15 years, usually with an overspend on budget - is predicted to reach obsolescence. By the time it comes on line, the cost of power production will be too high.

Solar and wind power, by comparison, already produce power at a lower cost.

Why not overnight? Find Accommodation in De Aar

Inn Excellence B&B

Guest House

Inn Excellence B&B

Built in the early 1900s and lovingly restored, Inn Excellence offers accommodation in an establishment that lends ... more

Oppiplot Gastehuis

Self Catering

Oppiplot Gastehuis

Oppiplot Gastehuis is a self catering guesthouse situated in the town of De Aar in the Northern Cape. Attractions in the ... more

Potties Guest House

Guest House

Potties Guest House

Potties offers clean, comfortable and affordable accommodation. The establishment has Wi-Fi, braai facilities and secure ... more


Please let us know if anything on this page is outdated or contains inaccuracies. Click here to send us feedback if this is your attraction.

©Unauthorised use of the
photos is strictly prohibited. has been assisting travellers with their South Africa travel plans since 1999, and is the largest online travel guide for South Africa available in both English and German. © 1999-2018. All Rights Reserved. Find and book hotels and accommodation in South Africa. Sitemap