Jun 22, 2011
Eskom to complete CSP design by 2013, commission plant in 2016Back
Construction|Engineering|Johannesburg|Africa|Compressors|Diesel|Eskom|Generators|PROJECT|Pumps|Resources|Roads|Systems|Water|Africa|South Africa|CSP Plant|Services|Systems|Tank Storage Systems|Technology Boundary|Northern Cape|Environmental|Barry MacColl|Power|Water|Proximity|Upington|Diesel |Heat Transfer
© Reuse this
Speaking at the Solar South Africa conference, in Johannesburg, he said that the parastatal wanted to push the technology boundary through the completion of what would be the largest CSP plant in the world.
The design of the plant would have to be finalised by 2013, MacColl said. “We hope to commission the plant by 2016, which gives us two-and-a-half years of build time. By mid-2013, we have to finalise the design for the plant, with molten salt central receiver our preferred option,” he told Engineering News Online.
In line with the environmental-impact assessment (EIA), Eskom hoped to build a 100-MW central receiver demonstration plant with molten salt as a heat transfer fluid. It would appoint an owner's engineer as the first step in the commercial process, to support it in the development and execution of the project.
But, the engineering design, finding a suitable firm to work with Eskom as an owners engineer and preparing the package to go out as an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to the market, remained a challenge, MacColl said.
The utility was currently assessing a large number of applications, after a request for expressions of interest for the provision of EPC services was put out in April.
It would appoint an EPC contractor and a planning and design contractor by 2012.
Should Eskom not start construction by 2015, and should it change the proposed design from the envisaged central receiver plant, it would have to revise its approved EIA.
Possible plant specifications included capacity factors suitable for base-load operation, and two tank storage systems, with molten salt, designed to operate the power plant as a base-load plant. The plant would have a dry-cooled or hybrid-cooled design to ensure efficient use of water. Further, all auxiliary power would be sourced from the national grid and backup would be sourced from diesel generators, with the life-of-plant being a minimum of 25 years. A water supply contract has also been secured with the Upington municipality.
The land on which the CSP plant would be built was adjacent to the 5 000 MW solar park, in Upington, for which the South African government has committed R18.6-million to complete a feasibility study.
“This is exciting in that we are now collaborating with government to do a conceptual layout that would add value to both solar parks as opposed to treating them as separate entities.
“Eskom is working quite closely with government and their consultants on a design for the park that will share a common ground, servitude and services – this will make more sense for the country than working as separate entities,” MacColl told Engineering News Online.
Advantages of the land selected for the demonstration site included it being a good solar resource, with a plant capacity factor of 70% and high solar insolation of 8 kWh/m2 a day, and that it had the potential capacity of at least 600 MW, made up of the 100 MW from the CSP demonstration plant and the 500 MW from a commercial plant.
It was also in close proximity to existing transmission lines, national and main roads.
Meanwhile, Eskom is also changing its position on photovoltaic (PV), driven purely by the need to better understand PV, he said. “Eskom is taking progressive, small steps with regard to this technology, which we believe is an emerging and mature technology.”
Two tenders to generate 1 MW of power from PV for the Kendal power station, in Mpumalanga, and the Lethabo power station, in the Free State, were out. The 1 MW would be used internally, for example, to power pumps and compressors.
Eskom is also installing PV at a parking facility at its Megwatt Park offices, in Sandton.
However, he said in line with moving towards cleaner technologies, CSP was the “technology of choice”. But, MacColl said the utility would also look to PV and a combination of other technologies in future.
“Eskom strategic drivers require a large scale diversification into lower carbon technologies, and this diversification will be based on South Africa’s solar resources and the advantages of central receiver with storage, making the choice of the CSP demonstraion plant project an attractive option, ” he concluded.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Electricity News
Updated 13 minutes ago The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) will release a consultation paper in February next year outlining the possible regulatory framework for “distributed power generation” in South Africa, including how “prosumers” could be empowered to feed surplus...
Updated 6 minutes ago JSE-listed packaging firm Astrapak on Friday said it expected to report a loss a share of between 42c and 44c for the six months ended August 31, compared with a loss a share of 23.4c in the prior comparative period, mainly owing to the impact of industrial action....
Updated 17 minutes ago The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) will release a consultation paper in February next year outlining the possible regulatory framework for “distributed power generation” in South Africa, including how “prosumers” could be empowered to feed surplus...
Updated 23 minutes ago Following the release of her groundbreaking research into the way in which local exporters assessed foreign markets, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has formally honoured North-West University (NWU) Professor Wilma Viviers as one of seven global candidates for its...
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
This Week's Magazine
While Ekurhuleni-based transformer manufacturer Reliable Transformers currently designs, manufactures and tests its products according to the SANS 780 specifications for distribution transformers and other applicable transformer specifications, it is working towards...
Global endpoint security solutions company Kaspersky Lab has introduced new measures to prevent cyber criminals from accessing sensitive data, alongside its malware-signature and heuristic device analysis detection methods. Threats to mobile devices have increased...
To ensure uptake and a positive impact, Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) networks in cities must be provided at schools, community centres and commercial centres to enable citizens and government to access information that will improve access to and delivery of services....
Eco-estate Monaghan Farm, located near Lanseria airport, north-west of Johannesburg, has taken a new approach to modern living and sustainability with its 517 ha development, dedicated to farm living.
Forklift and lift-truck distributor Goscor Lift Hi-Reach launched the Genie SX-180, the tallest self-propelled super boom in Africa, in Johannesburg last month. “As the official distributor of the well-known Genie range of equipment in Southern Africa, we are pleased...