Construction of the Bokpoort Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Independent Power Project (IPP) has begun in Northern Cape Province.
Construction of the Bokpoort Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Independent Power Project (IPP) has begun in Northern Cape Province. The project was selected from 79 projects by the Department of Energy of South Africa and was the only CSP technology project among them.
Forming part of South Africa’s Renewable Energy IPP procurement program (REIPP), the 50 MW installed capacity Bokpoort CSP Project is being equipped with the largest thermal storage ever adopted for a solar power plant of this kind and capacity to date. The 9.3 hour storage capacity enables it to yield a record-high generation in excess of 200 GWh/year well into the night every day of 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.
The Bokpoort CSP IPP will inject significant socio-economic value into the rural South African economy in the vicinity of the power facility — which is to be located in one of the most under developed areas of the country — by bringing an average of $2 million in additional investments annually.
While South Africa relies heavily on coal to meet its energy needs, the country is ripe with renewable energy resources that offer sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels. The CSP technology will contribute to offsetting South Africa’s grid peak power demand period due to the unique size of its thermal storage. The Bokpoort CSP IPP will provide electricity to approximately 21,000 households via Eskom Holdings SOC Limited, a government-owned national utility.