The Bokpoort concentrated solar power (CSP) facility comprises a solar field, a power block, a thermal-energy storage system and related infrastructure.

The Bokpoort CSP project will be owned by Acwa Power Solafrica Bokpoort CSP Power Plant, a limited liability company established under South African law, with Acwa Power as the majority shareholder.

The project is a greenfield independent power project, which is to be developed in Grobblershoop, in the Northern Cape, as part of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).

Bokpoort was selected, with 18 other preferred bids, during the second-window evaluation of the REIPPPP in May 2012. The Bokpoort CSP facility comprises a solar field, a power block, a thermal-energy storage system and related infrastructure such as grid interconnection, water abstraction and treatment systems.

The plant will be equipped with the largest thermal storage ever adopted for a solar power plant of this class and capacity, with a thermal storage capacity of 1 300 MWh, equivalent to about 9.3 hours.

The solar field comprises loops of parabolic trough solar collector assemblies, which will absorb the heat from the sun. The solar collectors will be capable of heating the heat transfer fluid to up to 393 °C.

The power block consists of a solar steam generator and a steam turbine delivering 50 MW (net). The thermal-energy storage system consists of two tanks of molten salts.

Value The development has an estimated cost of R5.05-billion.

Duration The CSP plant is expected to be commercially operational by the end of 2015. Acwa Power has reported that it will start operations at its 50 MW molten salt solar project, in the Northern Cape, in 2016. The power project is in its commissioning phase.

The solar energy generated by the 658 000 m2 of reflector area will be fed directly into Eskom’s Garona substation, located next to the site, under a 20-year power purchase agreement.

Key Contracts and Suppliers TSK Electrónica Y Electricidad, Acciona Infraestructuras, Acciona Ingeniería, Sener Ingeniería y Sistemas, and Crowie Concessions (engineering, procurement and construction), Nomac (operation and maintenance), Investec Bank and ABSA Bank (debt funding) and Mott MacDonald (lenders’ technical adviser).