Concentrated Solar Power has the potential to produce 10% of South Africa’s electricity requirements.
Concentrated Solar Power has the potential to produce 10% of South Africa’s electricity requirements but grid connections need to be improved in key solar Provinces like the Northern Cape, Nandu Bhula, CEO of ACWA Power Solafrica Bokpoort, said.
The Bokpoort project company, in which Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power is the largest shareholder, started salt melting operations for the 50 MW plant in June.
The plant has 9.3 hours of storage capacity using a molten salt system and the solar field features loops of parabolic trough solar collector assemblies.
Construction on the US $565 million project began in 2013 and commercial start-up is expected in December 2015. The facility is situated at Grobblershoop, 120 km south east of Upington, in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province.
Once completed, Bokpoort would have one of the largest storage capacities held by CSP projects.
In comparison, SolarReserve’s 110 MW Crescent Dunes tower CSP project in Nevada, US has a storage capacity of 10 hours using molten salt.
The above chart representing the South Africa CSP market is taken from the CSP Today Markets Report 2015: South Africa