Swiss-based power and automation technology group ABB is planning to begin the production of central inverters in South Africa in response to the growing local photovoltaic (PV) market and local content requirements.

ABB is planning to unveil a new line for the manufacturing of inverters at its existing facilities in Johannesburg in 2014.

The proposed production line, with a production capacity of around 500MW annually, will produce 630KW, 875KW and 1,000KW central inverters.

ABB noted that its central inverter series, rated from 100 to1000 kW, is designed for multi-megawatt PV power plants.

Commenting on the initiative, ABB Discrete Automation and Motion division head Ulrich Spiesshofer said the investment in the new production line will strengthen the company’s position in the country’s renewables sector.

"The region’s energy needs are set to grow with economic expansion and with South Africa looking to benefit from its abundance of sunshine we will be in an even better position to serve our local customers," added Spiesshofer.

Currently, ABB has two 500KW PV solar projects near Johannesburg, which were installed in 2011.