Acciona has formed a consortium with engineering and construction specialist Sener to build a €500 million solar thermal plant in South Africa.
Development of the Kathu solar thermal project is being led by GDF SUEZ with South African partners.
The 100 MW facility with parabolic troughs has been selected by the South African Department of Energy to form part of the country’s renewable energy development program (REIPPP). It will have a thermal energy storage capacity of 4.5 hours, thanks to the use of molten salts.
Located in the town of Kathu, in the Northern Cape Province, the plant will begin operations in 2018 and will be able to supply electricity to 80,000 homes.
Because of the nature of the contract, Sener and Acciona will carry out the engineering, construction and commissioning of the entire facility. The building consortium will also use local suppliers, as the project is fully committed to contributing to the local community.
For both companies, this is their second solar thermal project in South Africa, the first being the Bokpoort plant (Upington), which will be operational in late 2015 and in which they also form part of the building consortium. This is also a turnkey project that uses Senertrough® technology and a molten salt storage system.