Phelan Energy Group Heading South African Renewable Energy: Nominated for 'The European Magazine's 2014 Excellence Awards' as Solar Energy Provider in Africa

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South Africa is fast becoming the heartland of solar energy in Africa. Phelan Energy Group, led by Paschal Phelan, is notably helping to change South Africa's energy landscape, most recently with the Solar Capital division being recognized with The New Economy's Best Renewable Energy Company Award.

Paschal Phelan's Solar Capital, a prominent renewable energy producer currently working in South Africa, have been nominated for "The European Magazine’s 2014 Excellence Awards" as Solar Company of the Year in Africa. A subsidiary of Phelan Energy Group, winner of The New Economy's Best Renewable Energy Company 2013, Solar Capital are embarking on a project to build the biggest solar energy plant in the southern hemisphere. The Excellence Awards are set to take place in May this year and honour companies that have been successful in facing challenges in their business fields.

President of Solar Capital, Phelan revels in the recognition of South African renewable energy on an international level. "South Africa needs to look to alternative solutions to our country's major energy deficit. Investments in large-scale solar power projects will transform the African continent, where rising populations and six of the world's 10 fastest growing economies have resulted in ever growing energy deficits."

In recent years, South Africa recorded the world’s highest growth in renewable energy investment, with $5.7bn invested according to the UN Environment Program. The surge in investment, led largely by solar power projects, comes as South Africa now moves to reduce its dependence on coal, which currently accounts for around 86 percent of the country’s energy. To achieve this, the South African Department of Energy has recently set the ambitious target of generating 18GW of clean energy by 2030. Inspired by the South African Department of Energy, South Africa is on track to become one of the fastest-growing renewable energy markets in the world.

Investments in large-scale solar power projects will transform the continent
The South African Government is now more than ever committed to embracing and developing the benefits that clean energy offers. In 2009, it announced plans to award the first licenses to independent power producers by early 2011. This commitment has been further demonstrated by licenses being awarded in 2012 and again through its third IPP Bid Round in 2013.

Being the only company in South Africa to win licenses in both Bid Round 1 and Bid Round 2, Paschal Phelan and his team at Phelan Energy Group understand the financial restraints owing to the steep initial capital, as well as the legal and technical project costs that can hamper the expansion of the renewable energy industry in South Africa. You will find domestic companies partnering with, and learning from, international firms that have the relevant experience and skills. Getting the correct answers is vital to decision-making. Paschal Phelan has ensured Phelan Energy Group use the latest computerized tools to drive precision in their irradiation assessment. Field engineers, plant layout and financial modeling are critical to our business. Of course you need the correct team of professionals, engineers and accountants to optimize these tools.

PV solar
Paschal Phelan’s vision is to drive international volume and footprint by being the world’s lowest-cost producer without compromise of quality.
Phelan Energy Group is active with signed joined ventures in Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Their market development program is called 10cc. It defines the solar irradiation sweet spot that stretches around the globe in a band that is 10 degrees North and South of the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.

Paschal Phelan wants to drive international volume and footprint by being the world’s lowest-cost producer without compromise of quality through cost management, innovation and efficiency, and thus drive our footprint and installed capacity. Phelan Energy Group’s target is 1.5GW installed by 2018. They are being recognized for their efforts in this area. In December 2013, Paschal and his team were awarded The New Economy's Best Renewable Energy Company Award. It is acknowledged as one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon sustainable companies, it specifically recognizes innovators and industry leaders who have bettered standards, performance and expectations around the world. This years Sustainable Energy Awards, chosen by Sr. Editor-in-Chief and a panel of industry experts, have proven to be the most competitive and rewarding so far with a large volume of global innovators hoping to recognized for their sustainability efforts.

Power to the people
Many South Africans are dependent on the income of the employed sector and social grants. Through development of renewable energy sources, Paschal Phelan is creating new economic opportunities through job creation, improved education and various other social development programs in the rural towns of South Africa.

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa has established certain criteria that, as a responsible and dedicated company, Paschal Phelan needs to ensure his organization fulfill. Paschal Phelan is committed to create sustainable jobs, educate and equip the local community with skills, assist the community in creating economic opportunities through enterprise development, ensure upliftment, and address social challenges within the communities in which Phelan’s farms are situated. Of the 2,000 or more locals currently employed by Paschal Phelan’s organization, 90 percent are from previously disadvantaged backgrounds. During the maintenance and operational phase of the projects, Solar Capital will employ over 200 permanent employees.

Africa’s Renewable Energy future
While South Africa is clearly setting the pace, projects are being announced across the continent as more countries look to unlock their own massive solar potential. International suppliers have expressed major interest in South Africa, not only to establish a local footprint, but also to secure access to other emerging markets in sub-Saharan Africa. Paschal Phelan’s 94.5MW first phase project is the largest solar farm in South Africa. By late 2016 Paschal Phelan’s second farm will be fully connected to the grid. These two farms, totaling 200MW, will make us the largest solar farm on the continent of Africa.

About Solar Capital
Solar Capital (Pty) Ltd is a subsidiary of Phelan Holdings (Pty) Ltd a prominent South African based International Investment and Development Company, with the vision to become a market leader in the production of solar energy in Southern Africa. Based in Cape Town, Solar Capital has built up a local and international proficiency in renewable energy, in order to realize its mission. Southern Africa has some of the highest annual solar radiation levels in the world. Solar Capital has invested in real estate and technology with the potential to develop the continent's most valuable energy source from the sun.

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Caitriona Corrigan
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