Top 10 biggest ongoing and completed Solar Power projects in Africa
Africa is endowed with a rich bounty of natural resources. The sun is one of them. Generally referred to as the “sunny continent”, Africa is the sunniest place on earth. Despite its fortunate conditions, the penetration of solar power in Africa’s energy mix is still very slow and its massive solar photovoltaic potential remains untapped. Africa has been historically relying on hydropower, which is, unfortunately, decreasing as the climate changes are causing a water crisis in the continent.
It’s interesting to know that Africa is now beginning to take advantage of its abundant renewable energy resources to provide utility-scale electricity to the approximately 600 million people who lack access to reliable electricity, and in this video we’ll be looking at those countries that have grown to house the largest ongoing or completed solar power projects in Africa.
10. LESEDI PHOTOVOLTAIC SOLAR POWER PROJECT
The 75 MW Lesedi Solar PV project is located in the Northern Cape province of South Africa near the city of Kimberly. The project generates approximately 150,000 MWh of renewable energy and provides electricity to nearly all of the approximately 65,000 households in the area.
9. KALKBULT SOLAR POWER PLANT
The 75 MW Kalbult solar PV plant, situated near Petrusville in the Northern Cape province of South Africa generates 135 GWh of renewable energy per year, providing 33,000 households with electricity and circumventing 115,000t of greenhouse gas emissions annually.
8. JASPER SOLAR POWER PROJECT
The $260 million Jasper Solar Power Project is a 96 MW solar photovoltaic plant located near Kimberly in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. When it came online in October 2014, the plant became the largest solar power installation in Africa.
7. XINA SOLAR POWER ONE PLANT
Xina Solar One is a 100 MW thermo solar power plant located near Pofadder in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. Construction of the project began in 2014 and commissioning work commenced in 2016. The $880 million plant will generate 380 GWh of power per year as part of a 20-year PPA with the country’s state-owned utility company, Eskom.
6. KAXU SOLAR POWER ONE PLANT
The KaXu Solar One project is the first commercially operated solar thermal electric power plant in South Africa. located near Pofadder in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, the 100 MW solar power plant was commissioned in 2015.
5. KATHU SOLAR POWER PARK
Kathu Solar Park is a 100 MW concentrated solar power thermal energy power plant located near Kathu in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. The plant is equipped with a molten salt storage system that allows for 4.5 hours of thermal energy storage. The construction of the project started in 2016 and had created around 1700 jobs, mostly for the local community.
4. ILANGA CONCENTRATED SOLAR POWER 1
Ilanga Solar Power 1 is a 100 MW Concentrated solar power plant located in Karoshoek, 20km east of Upington in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. The utility project will provide solar-generated thermal electricity and is capable of a yield of more than 320 GW per year.
3. BENBAN SOLAR POWER PROJECT
This is Egypt’s largest PV project Benban solar complex, is named after a village closed to the Nile River. This project is constructed on the eastern Sahara desert, estimated to produce 1.8 GW of power from its 41 plants combined. The project is being completed in different phases and integration of various small scale plants.
2. DE AAR SOLAR POWER PLANT
The De Aar photovoltaic solar plant is South Africa’s biggest solar project, and is a 175 MW power plant located 6km outside of the town of De Aar in, the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. The facility generates electricity with 167,580 solar photovoltaic panels, which is enough to provide more than 19,000 homes in South Africa with clean, reliable and renewable energy.
1. NOOR OUARZAZATE SOLAR POWER STATION
The 580MW Noor Ouarzazate Solar complex, located 10km from Ouarzazate, Morocco, is the largest concentrated solar power plant on the continent. The first phase of the $2.5 billion solar power station involved the construction of the 160 MW concentrated solar plant called Noor 1, and with that came the construction of two other phases with 200 and 150MW respectively, and construction of a 70MW of photovoltaic in the final phase, which was undertaken together with phase three.