July 2021.

In its seventh year of operations, Aries Solar Power, close to Kenhardt, is one of almost 30 solar plants in the Northern Cape, the country’s most prolific renewable energy province. Site manager, Darwyn Samuels, ensures that this solar plant optimises its solar generating capacity using 45 000 solar (PV) panels.

Samuels has been working at this solar plant, since 2015, just a year into its operations, having previously been part of the technical team at the near-by Konkoonsies Solar Power.

“The focus of my job is to ensure that the power plant operates at its maximum capacity, which we do by ensuring that the operations and maintenance is kept at its optimum, plus, just as importantly, I also oversee HSE responsibilities of every employee and contractor to safeguard compliance,” explained Samuels.

He was attracted to this field of work long before utility-scale solar plants were built in the country and sought the opportunity to get involved in a career that produces clean power. “I was very intrigued by the fact that the electricity is generated by a natural resource and wanted to learn more about it,” he added.

Aries Solar Power does more than power thousands of homes each year, it also works to make a difference in the lives of the many families that live in and around the community of Kenhardt, in multiple ways. This is achieved by spending a percentage of revenues on development programmes that include enterprise and socio-economic development, to promote access to the economy. Additionally, local procurement and employment opportunities plough financial resources into the local community

“I believe that it has brought so much to Kenhardt, by helping to grow and develop this remote area,” concluded Samuels.