A community trust in Upington and one in Pofadder hold 20% of the Concentrated Solar Power (CSP)project in its area, with Abengoa owning 51% of the projects and the IDC 29%.
Construction of South Africa’s first two CSP stations has commenced with development of a third well under way. The first two CSP power stations will be established by Spanish developer, Abengoa, in partnership with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and community trusts in Upington and Pofadder in the Northern Cape.
With their ability to store heat energy and steam, South Africa’s first two CSP plants will be able to supply electricity to the national grid at critical times when the sun is not shining and particularly during peak demand periods.
Situated in the arid Northern Cape, the power stations will also be dry-cooled. They will use about a third of the water consumed by wet-cooled power stations and a fraction compared with irrigated farms, which draw water from the Orange River that runs through the province.
A community trust in Upington and one in Pofadder hold 20% of the CSP project in its area, with Abengoa owning 51% of the projects and the IDC 29% as part of its mandate to support development of the green economy.
The R4.5bn Bokpoort CSP power station under development in the Northern Cape will include a facility to store for up to nine hours heat energy accumulated during the day. The power station will be able to use the stored energy to continue generating electricity for the national grid in cloudy periods and at night, including during evening peak demand time.
The developers hope that the new plant will create greater confidence in government to view CSP as a key contributor to South Africa’s energy supply and to increase substantially the relatively small amount of CSP-generated electricity it has earmarked to buy over the next 20 years.
Bokpoort CSP will employ about 660 people during construction and will have a permanent staff of about 48 to undertake operations and maintenance, with a third being highly skilled and the balance being made up of artisans and unskilled workers.
Dividends accruing to a community trust with a 5% shareholding in Bokpoort CSP will be invested in developing social projects, such as health and education facilities, within a 50km radius of the Bokpoort CSP site.
This covers about 30000 people in the Kheis municipality which includes Groblershoop and several small rural communities.