solar thermal electric

ACWA Power consortium adds CSP capacity to the South African power grid

A consortium led by ACWA Power International (ACWA Power), the Saudi electricity and desalinated water producer, has begun construction of the BOKPOORT Concentrated Solar Power Independent Power Project in Northern Cape Province, South Africa. 
ACWA Power consortium adds CSP capacity to the South African power grid

Members of the consortium include the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) of South Africa (representing the Government Employees Pension Fund), Lereko Solafrica Investment, Lereko Metier Solafrica Fund 1, Lereko Metier Sustainable Capital Fund, Kurisani Solafrica Investments (representing the National NGO Lovelife) and Solafrica Community Investment Company.

The construction site is located about 600 km south of Johannesburg.

The BOKPOORT CSP Project is being equipped with the largest thermal storage ever adopted for a solar power plant of this class and capacity to date.

“While ACWA Power is a provider of electricity and desalinated water and is thus fuel agnostic, it is very fitting that our entry into the Southern African market should be via a renewable project and such a pace setting project as this with the volume of storage to deliver reliable solar power generated electricity even during the night time peak," said Paddy Padmanathan, President & CEO of ACWA Power.

The plant thermal storage capacity will be 9.3 hours enabling it to yield a record-high generation in excess of 200 GWh/year well into the night every day throughout the year. This makes CSP the only renewable technology at commercial scale to cover the country's daily peak demand from 5 to 9 PM thereby helping to prevent power black outs.

BOKPOORT CSP IPP was the only CSP technology project and one of only 19 renewable energy projects selected by the Department of Energy of South Africa from among 79 bids submitted for the second window of the country's REIPP.

The construction is being undertaken by a consortium of EPC contractors composed of TSK Electrónica y Electricidad S.A., Acciona Infrastructuras S.A., Acciona Ingeniería S.A., Sener Ingeniería y Sistemas S.A., all from Spain, and Crowie Concessions (Pty) Limited of South Africa. 

The construction of the power facility will utilize more than 40 percent of scope procured locally in South Africa. The operation and maintenance will be undertaken by a consortium led by NOMAC, a subsidiary of ACWA Power and Invest In Africa Energy Services, a South African services provider. 

The off-taker of the produced electricity will be Eskom Holdings SOC Limited, a government-owned national utility. The BOKPOORT CSP IPP has partnered with Investec Bank Limited and Absa Bank Limited as mandated lead arrangers to the project and who together with Old Mutual Specialised Finance (Pty) Ltd are providing the senior debt funding requirements of the project.

Whilst South Africa relies heavily on coal to meet its energy needs, the country is well-endowed with renewable energy resources that offer sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels.  With the CSP technology to be used, the BOKPOORT CSP IPP will provide electricity to approximately 21,000 households and save approximately 230,000 tons of CO2 equivalent emissions during every year of operation. 

For additional information:

ACWA Power International

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