Solarcentury has formed a joint venture with South African firm Momentous Energy to form Solarcentury Africa.

The stated aim of the new partnership is to offer solar services from financing and development all the way through to maintenance support once plants have become operational.

Solarcentury Africa has already completed its first project – a roof installation for a large property company – and is also planning to install the biggest solar rooftop system in South Africa in the coming months.

At present Solarcentury Africa is readying itself to try and meet the growing energy needs of the south of the continent, with a view to expanding from South Africa to other southern African countries. Frans Van den Heuvel, who was appointed CEO of Solarcentury in May 2012, said: “The drive towards cost effective energy generation in Southern Africa is coming and Solarcentury Africa is ready for it.”

Solarcentury made its intention to expand further into the African market known in March this year and the company has moved quickly to the point of forming this joint venture. The UK company recently made a series of high level appointments partly with a view to enabling its expansion into various international markets, including the appointment in March 2013 of Bertrand Belben as the company’s director of international business development. The JV with Momentous Energy to form Solarcentury Africa takes the expansion strategy a step further.

Solarcentury said it was keen to utilise Momentous Energy’s local knowledge and strong infrastructure, with Solarcentury Africa’s headquarters to be based in Johannesburg. Momentous Energy currently has four large-scale projects in development or construction, including a 7MW solar park in Rustenburg, South Africa, which has already begun construction, and a project in Keetmanshoop, Namibia.

In an interview in Solar Power Portal’s sister journal Solar Business Focus last month, Solarcentury’s vice president of sales, Peter Sermon, said tapping into local knowledge was vital to the company's international expansion. He said that although this would not always mean the company looks to set up a formal joint venture in target markets, Solarcentury would set them up where it was appropriate.