The First Solar Thermal Electric Power Plant Now in Commercial Operation in South Africa

abengoa parabolic trough solar thermal power plant in South Africa comes online
KaXu Solar One, the first Solar Thermal Electricity (STE) power plant in South Africa

Solar Thermal Electric Power Plant ( Solar Thermal Magazine)

Abengoa recently announced that together with KaXu Community Trust have launched a 100 MW solar plant near the town of Pofadder (Northern Cape Province), capable of providing clean and sustainable power to approximately 80,000 homes in South Africa.

KaXu Solar One, the first Solar Thermal Electricity (STE) power plant in South Africa, incorporates a storage system that enables production of 100 MW for 2.5 hours after sunset or before dawn. The project will result in approximately USD 891 million direct and indirect investment inflows to South Africa, generate approximately USD 516 million in taxes over the next 20 years, and created 1,000 construction jobs during its three-year construction period.

This project, a well arranged public-private partnership, was awarded by the Department of Energy of South Africa and it will serve clean and reliable electricity to Eskom, South Africa’s power utility, under a 20-year power purchase agreement. Abengoa owns 51 % of the project, the IDC 29 % and KaXu Community Trust 20 %.

Manuel Sanchez Ortega, Vice President and CEO of Abengoa, had this to say about the project:

We are proud of the role we are playing to help South Africa meet its ongoing energy demands. This project will leave a legacy that will benefit the community of Pofadder, Northern Cape and the entire country. This would not have been possible without the leadership of the South African Department of Energy.

IDC Chief Executive, Geoffrey Qhena, also commented:

The project is based on a strong public-private sector partnership and forms part of our efforts to support Government’s initiatives to introduce alternative sources of energy into the country’s energy mix as contemplated in the integrated resources plan.

Abengoa is building in the region Khi Solar One, a 50MW solar plant using tower technology and has already started the construction of a third project, Xina Solar One, a 100 MW parabolic trough plant. Xina Solar One will shape with KaXu Solar One the largest solar platform in sub-Saharan Africa.

About Gordon Smith
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.

1 Comment

  • ikram amjad says:

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