KaXu Solar One is the first Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant in commercial operation in South Africa.
Abengoa (MCE: ABG.B/P SM /NASDAQ: ABGB), the international company that applies innovative technology solutions for sustainability in the energy and environmental sectors, and state-owned financier, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), together with KaXu Community Trust have launched a 100 MW solar plant near the town of Pofadder (Northern Cape Province), capable of providing clean and sustainable power to approximately 80,000 homes in South Africa.
Minister of Economic Development, Mr Ebrahim Patel, officially inaugurated this innovative solar power plant. They were accompanied by Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises, Mr. Bulelani Magwanishe, executives of Abengoa and IDC and representatives of the local community.
KaXu Solar One, the first Solar Thermal Electricity (STE) power plant in South Africa, incorporates a storage system that enables production of 100 MW for 2.5 hours after sunset or before dawn. The project will result in approximately USD 891 million direct and indirect investment inflows to South Africa, generate approximately USD 516 million in taxes over the next 20 years, and created 1,000 construction jobs during its three-year construction period.
This project, a well arranged public-private partnership, was awarded by the Department of Energy of South Africa and it will serve clean and reliable electricity to Eskom, South Africa’s power utility, under a 20-year power purchase agreement. Abengoa owns 51 % of the project, the IDC 29 % and KaXu Community Trust 20 %.
Manuel Sanchez Ortega, Vice President and CEO of Abengoa, has stated: “We are proud of the role we are playing to help South Africa meet its ongoing energy demands. This project will leave a legacy that will benefit the community of Pofadder, Northern Cape and the entire country. This would not have been possible without the leadership of the South African Department of Energy".
IDC chief executive, Geoffrey Qhena, has declared: “The project is based on a strong public-private sector partnership and forms part of our efforts to support Government’s initiatives to introduce alternative sources of energy into the country’s energy mix as contemplated in the integrated resources plan”.
Fadiel Farao, the Chairperson of the KaXu Community Trust, says KaXu Solar One will be a catalyst for economic development role in the Khai Ma municipality in the Northern Cape. “The project has stimulated the local economy and will go a long way towards helping to generate much-needed economic opportunities for people in this area”. KaXu Community Trust is made up of members of the local community.
Abengoa is building in the region Khi Solar One, a 50MW solar plant using tower technology and has already started the construction of a third project, Xina Solar One, a 100 MW parabolic trough plant. Xina Solar One will shape with KaXu Solar One the largest solar platform in sub-Saharan Africa.