Construction Begins At 100 MW Kathu CSP Project In South Africa

Construction has begun on yet another concentrated solar power project in South Africa under its famed, and now controversial, Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).

A consortium led by ENGIE recently announced that construction work has begun at the Kathu 100 MW CSP project in the Northern Cape province, South Africa. The project will be developed jointly by SENER and ACCIONA which shall provide engineering, procurement and construction services for the project.

The 100 MW project will sell electricity to Eksom through a 20-year power purchase agreement once it is fully commissioned in H2 2018. The Kathu Solar Park project will employ Sener patented parabolic trough reflectors and a molten salt storage system with 4.5 hours thermal storage capacity.

The project was allotted to ENGIE (formerly GDF Suez) and its partners during the third round of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme (REIPPP) auctions, with an investment of more than €500 million.

This project will be located near KaXu Solar One, which was the first solar thermal power project in South Africa. Both these companies have considerable experience in the development of solar thermal power projects. For both Sener and Acciona, this will be their second solar thermal project to be developed in South Africa. They worked together earlier on the Bokpoort plant (Upington), which is also a turnkey project employing Sener trough and a molten salt storage system. Bokpoort plant is expected to be commissioned by end of this year.

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