Touwsrivier is a community of approximately 8000 people and is also home to the world's largest CPV solar plant (CPV 1)! It is located in the Breede Valley municipality in the Western Cape, South Africa and can be seen from the N1 highway. Established in the 1800s, this peaceful community has experienced severe developmental knocks in recent decades due to its decreased importance in the locomotives sector.

It is thus a self-evident truth that the time has come for Touwsrivier to embark upon a more sustainable development path. It is thus with great pride and anticipation that the Touwsrivier SE.ED is launched!

May this SE.ED give life to the dreams of Touwsrivier for many years to come

About CPV 1

CPV 1 is the name of the power plant located in Touwsrivier.
This solar power plant uses 3rd generation photovoltaic technology, and at 36MW, it is the largest of its kind in the world. CPV 1 was named a preferred bidder by the Department of Energy in 2011..
The private owners of the power plant are Soitec and Pele Green Energy. They were jointly responsible for ensuring that the power plant met all conditions required to convert its preferred bidder status into a generating license, which was awarded in 2012. Construction of the power plant was initiated in 2013 and the plant reached its commercial operating date in December 2014. CPV 1 has been successfully supplying power to the national grid, since.


About Touwsrivier SE.ED

One of the most important outcomes of the studies conducted in Touwsrivier over the last 4 years has been an appreciation of the importance of contributing to the development of a local economy for sustained development. Touwsrivier currently lacks a robust local economy and as such, most households are unable to provide for their basic needs. This has led to the development of development programmes which are geared at ensuring energy communities are sustainable communities and a commitment to undertake this development through revenue generated by the operations of the renewable energy plant.


Touwsrivier Socio-economic and Enterprise Development (SE.ED) is the name of the holistic and people-centric development programme that has been designed to catalyse the dawn of Touwsrivier's new development path.

SE.ED emanates out of CPV 1's commitment to invest in the social and economic development of Touwsrivier, making Touwsrivier an energy community. This is a development programme that was designed and approved for implementation by the Department of Energy in 2011. At the heart of SE.ED is a commitment to community participation and to this end, extensive participatory research as well as community surveys have been conducted to understand the needs and expectations of the people of Touwsrivier.


To execute its vision, CPV 1 has appointed
Knowledge Pele to handle the design and implementation of SEED. This programme will be implemented over the 20 year life of the power plant, with a view to achieve impacts that outlive the power plants by many more decades.

Touwsrivier SE.ED Launch

Principles of the SE.ED Programme

To ensure the greater vision of the programme is realised, the following principles guide the design, development and implementation

  • Community participation in the design and management of programmes
  • Community ownership of programmes for the longevity and overall success of programmes
  • Research led design and development of  programmes
  • Measurable Impact for communities
  • Synergy and consistency throughout our programme offerings
  • Sustainability within  programmes and communities; continued economic growth and development of the community beyond CPV1


© 2017 Touwsrivier Socio-Economic and Enterprise Development (SE.ED)