Jun 22, 2011
Eskom to complete CSP design by 2013, commission plant in 2016Back
Construction|Engineering|Johannesburg|Africa|Compressors|Design|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 Renewable Energy News
The 94.3 MWp Sishen solar photovoltaic (PV) plant, in the Northern Cape, was expected to deliver 216 GWh/y of electricity into power utility Eskom’s national grid. The plant, which was built by Spanish firm Acciona and commissioned by Spanish consulting firm Enertis,...
Updated 8 minutes ago A surge in foreign debt issuance by African nations has left some fragile economies exposed to the risk of-billions of dollars in foreign exchange related losses if the US currency strengthens abruptly, a think-tank said on Wednesday. Judith Tyson, senior researcher...
Updated 31 minutes ago South Africa's State-run power utility Eskom said on Tuesday a pilot pricing project aimed at getting customers to cut their consumption on peak days was showing signs of success. Eskom, which supplies about 95% of the power to Africa's most advanced economy, is...
Updated 40 minutes ago South Africa is on power alert, Eskom said on Wednesday morning. "The power system remains vulnerable, meaning that any extra load or faults in the system may necessitate load shedding today," the electricity provider posted on its Twitter feed shortly after 6.15am.
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
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.
This Week's Magazine
Three-dimensional (3D) printers being sold in South Africa by electronics distributor Rectron currently print in two types of plastic, but have a clear upgrade path over the next five years to eventually print in wood, ceramics and metal-alloy materials, says Rectron...
The world’s two dominant commercial aircraft manufacturers, Airbus of Europe and Boeing of the US, both recently announced that they had made record aircraft deliveries in 2014. Boeing set a global record for the industry with 723 commercial aircraft delivered, while...
The Western Cape is shifting further into the renewable-energy space with the official opening of a factory specialising in solar inverters, a key component of solar photovoltaic (PV) plants. The investment in the manufacturing facility in Cape Town aims to boost the...
Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) last month welcomed Cabinet’s establishment of a technical team war room to undertake various interventions to improve electricity supply security over the short- and medium-term, but added that the private sector also had a...
Despite a rapid rise in mobile connections and the economic and social benefits of such connectivity, more than half of the world ended 2014 unconnected. For this reason, industry commentators believe the biggest impact of mobile technology is still to come –...