South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research fully embraces solar development



The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has appointed 3E to act as their owner’s engineer during the project lifecycle of a rooftop Solar PV system project, in order to supply 250.000 kWh/yr of electricity to the CSIR campus grid.

The CSIR is one of the leading scientific research and technology development organisations in Africa. The project in question aims at establishing a world-class facility for testing PV modules and systems under South African environmental conditions. The CSIR is looking to establish a Photovoltaic (PV) testing facility on its Pretoria campus to enhance its ability to support development of PV technology in South Africa and globally. Furthermore, they also expressed their wish to initiate a PV system design and optimisation department.

3E is proud to be part of the development of this private-public project, strengthening the development into local distributed energy generation.

What makes this project particularly interesting is also that the preferred EPC contractor is required to accommodate and assist in the execution of a training programme as part of the national effort to develop national infrastructure (capacity building) during the planning/design, installation and the operation and maintenance phases. In liaison with different stakeholders such as the Sector Education and Training Authorities and the Skills for Green Jobs programme of the German development cooperation (GIZ), the CSIR Energy Centre has been appointed to lead a pilot implementation project of the newly developed PV mounter occupational part-qualification programme. The contractor is thus required to accommodate and assist in the execution of this training programme during the installation period.

3E, acting as owner’s engineer, will support the CSIR during the entire lifecycle of the project, with special emphasis and support in the tendering phase, contract negotiation, construction supervision and commissioning. 3E acts as an independent, objective third party to perform the owner’s engineering services and will ensure risk analysis and mitigation at any stage of the project (feasibility, design, setup and operation).