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Sudafrica: L’impianto solare di Tom Burke chiave per la sicurezza energetica della provincia di Limpopo

Tom Burke has an installed capacity of 66 MW and is capable of generating up to 122 GWh per year. The plant is first large scale solar project and first thin film photovoltaic panels in South Africa. It is declared a National Key Point on 30 June 2017.

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On 20 September Enel Green Power South Africa (EGP RSA) held an event commemorating its Tom Burke photovoltaic power plant, declared a National Key Point on 30 June 2017. Tom Burke is Enel Green Power’s first large scale solar project and first thin film photovoltaic panels in South Africa.

Located in South Africa’s Limpopo province, and with an installed capacity of 66 MW, the Tom Burke photovoltaic power plant reached early generation and COD during August 2016. The site was declared a National Key Point in line with South Africa’s National Key Point Act (1980), and in acknowledgement of its strategic importance of feeding 122 GWh per year into the national grid and its provision of electricity supply to nine villages in the Lephalale region of the Limpopo province. 

Tom Burke is situated on 202 hectares and can generate up to 122 GWh per year, while avoiding the emission of over 111 000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere each year. After reaching COD the plant moved into its operations and maintenance (O&M) phase, producing an average energy output of 350 to 360MWh per day. This is enough energy to power approximately 200 000 rural households daily.

During the O&M phase the solar plant is closely monitored via an on-site control room, as well as EGP RSA’s state-of the art 24-hour centralised control room in Sandton. The monitoring allows for an analysis of Tom Burke’s performance at inverter level, allowing the plant’s staff to immediately address potential issues and maximise efficiencies wherever possible. The solar panels are also cleaned twice yearly to maximise output. 


“South Africa is a resource-rich country and we are proud to provide an increasingly integrated offering and a strong renewable energy generation base. We firmly believe that by taking advantage of renewable energies we can improve electrification in Southern Africa and incorporate current and available technologies to bridge the gap between supply and demand for energy.”
– William Price, Country Manager in South Africa


To achieve greater engagement within the communities in and around Tom Burke in Limpopo, EGP RSA has partnered with non-profit organisation, mothers2mothers (m2m) to extend support to women at four sites in the Limpopo province, successfully reaching approximately 13 785 women.

The partnership was signed in August 2015, and a two-year funding agreement was secured in terms of which EGP RSA delivers Mentor Mother services at Dzumeri Clinic, Giyani Clinic, Ramokgopa Clinic and Nkhensani Hospital – all in the Limpopo province. 

Mentor Mothers provide HIV-prevention education and support to both HIV-positive and negative pregnant women and mothers, as well as their partners and families. Mentor Mothers also offer a wide range of education, support, and referral services to keep women engaged with the health system after they give birth and ensure they stay on treatment for optimal health outcomes for themselves and their families. These services include maternal health, infant and child health, TB, nutrition support, cervical cancer screenings, and family planning.

Sustainability and community involvement is an essential element of the Enel business strategy as the company believes that being sustainable today means staying engaged and competitive now, and into the future.  


“Enel has integrated sustainable shared value into the fabric of the way it does business. We believe that profit without purpose doesn’t work, and that is why we pursue projects where we can measure the impact and start to see a real difference in the communities where we operate.”
– Lizeka Dlepu, EGP RSA Head of Sustainability


Tom Burke is supported by a 20-year power supply agreement with the South African power utility Eskom, as part of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) tender promoted by the South African Government which awarded the project to the Enel Group.

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