http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 16.31Change: -0.01
R/$ = 14.22Change: 0.03
Au 1292.99 $/ozChange: 1.84
Pt 1079.50 $/ozChange: 3.50
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters About Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Oct 01, 2010

Upington solar park could deliver first power by the end of 2012

Back
Energy Minister Dipuo Peters, department of energy deputy director-general Ompi Aphane and Clinton Climate Initiative chairperson Ira Magaziner discuss the Upington solar-park project. Camera Work: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Darlene Creamer
 
 
 
Africa|CoAL|Engineering|Eskom|Export|Industrial|Power|PROJECT|Projects|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Roads|Solar|System|Technology|transport|Water|Africa|Energy|Power Generation|Power-generation|Solutions|Environmental|Infrastructure
Africa|CoAL|Engineering|Eskom|Export|Industrial|Power|PROJECT|Projects|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Roads|Solar|System|Technology|transport|Water|Africa|Energy|Power Generation|Power-generation|Solutions|Environmental|Infrastructure
africa-company|coal|engineering|eskom|export|industrial|power|project|projects|renewable-energy|renewable-energy-company|roads|solar|system|technology|transport|water|africa|energy|power-generation|power-generation-industry-term|solutions|environmental|infrastructure



The first commercial transactions relating to the development of utility- scale solar power generation capa- city in South Africa’s first designated solar park, near Upington, in the Northern Cape province, could be completed in the first half of 2011, with the first electricity flowing into the grid by 2012, a senior government official said at the launch of the concept last week.

Invitations were sent out in late September to international technology providers, as well as to local and international solar developers, for an investor conference, scheduled for Upington on October 28 and 29. And Department of Energy deputy director- general Ompi Aphane believes that the first deals could be concluded in the first or second quarter of next year.

He has revealed that the solar park, which could involve an investment of some R150-billion over a ten-year horizon, has been factored into the yet-to-be-published integrated resource plan, or IRP2010, which will provide a framework for South Africa’s power generation mix for the coming 20 to 25 years.

But Aphane also stresses that they will not compete with solar energy projects seeking to access South Africa’s renewable-energy feed-in tariffs, or Refits, as it would be unaffordable to extend Refits to solar park investors, owing to the scale of the projects envisaged.

Proposed is a technology-neutral solar zone, operated by a so-called ‘Solar Park Authority’, or SPA, where up to 5 000 MW of peaking and baseload solar electricity will be phased in over a ten-year horizon.

It is estimated that government would need to invest between R70-million and R105-million to set up the basic transport, water and transmission infrastructure to stimulate private investment of around R150-billion in generating assets.

The investor conference itself will showcase the opportunities and help inform a full feasibility study that is being pursued, following the South African government’s recent endorsement of the prefeasibility study conducted by the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI).

In fact, CCI chairperson Ira Magaziner argues that the Northern Cape’s world- beating solar irradiation levels of greater than 8 kWh/m2 for much of the year, together with the fact that government will facilitate access to land, water and the power grid, could ensure the delivery of peaking and baseload capacity that would be competitive with coal.

The technology mix will hinge on factors such as grid stability and the country’s requirement for baseload, as opposed to peaking power, with the solar thermal solutions providing the former and photovoltaics the latter.

The first phase will target the production of 1 000 MW, built in increments from a range of solutions.
Ministry of Energy special adviser Jonathan de Vries tells Engineering News that work is currently being done to determine the technology mix, with particular emphasis being given to dispatch stability.

“We want to use the first phase to assess the performance of the various solar tech- nologies at the scale we are proposing,” De Vries explains, adding that the projects will be selected through a competitive bidding process.

Energy Minister Dipuo Peters, who unveiled the concept at a function in Johannesburg, indicated that the SPA could either be established as a unit within the State-owned Central Energy Fund, or set up as a provincial or local government agency.

The organisation will act as an investment facilitator, in a role akin to that of a development authority within South Africa’s industrial development zones.

In other words, it will be responsible for the nongenerating infrastructure within the 9 000-ha property, such as roads, water and transmission capacity. The initial site, which is reportedly adjacent to the one where Eskom plans to build a 100-MW power-tower project, will draw water from the Orange river, which flows nearby. It is also close to existing transmission infrastructure and within a corridor that is earmarked for additional transmission investment by Eskom.

The full park could be built in a corridor stretching from Upington to De Aar and involve up to 19 000 ha of land. The sites close to the Orange river will not require additional water infrastructure, but water will have to be piped to the other sites.

The SPA could also facilitate access to government incentives, as well as aid investors, to gain regulatory and environmental approvals for their projects.

But the solar park is also affected by the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the buying entity for power generated by private producers, as well as a lack of clarity on the nature of the power purchase agreements (PPAs). It is not clear, for instance, whether the PPAs will be backed by a government guarantee.

“We hope that, through this process, we will be able to deal with these uncertainties in a way that not only unblocks investment in the park, but also supports other renewable-energy developers, as well as independent power producers, more gene- rally,” De Vries says.

It is likely that Eskom will be the initial purchasing agent, with a growing acceptance that the creation of an independent system and market operator, or ISMO, could still take years.

But Aphane insists that the IRP2010 will be promulgated before the end of the year, despite the fact that it has yet to be released for public comment. He also indicates that a Ministerial determination on new generation capacity is likely before year-end.

De Vries tells Engineering News that site preparation could begin in 2011 and that, should the legislative and regulatory hurdles be cleared, the first power plants could be producing by the second half of 2012.

A number of working groups have been established around the project, including one that will interrogate the potential job creation and industrial development spin-offs.

Peters stressed that government was keen to facilitate the development of industrial capacity to supply into both the solar park and future domestic solar programmes, as well as into the export market.

Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter

To subscribe email subscriptions@creamermedia.co.za or click here
To advertise email advertising@creamermedia.co.za or click here
 
Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other News This Week News
The two spent-fuel pools at Eskom’s 1 800 MW Koeberg nuclear power station, in the Western Cape, will be full by 2018, increasing the urgency on the State-owned utility to begin pursuing alternative storage options. Koeberg has, over the past 32 years, accumulated a...
South Africa lacks the skills necessary to implement the government’s plan to build 9.6 GWe of new nuclear energy capacity, warns nuclear-qualified Quality Strategies International CEO David Crawford. “Apart from the concern about the affordability of the programme,...
DOROS HADJIZENONOS The 700-series devices provide network security monitoring, app control, URL filtering, VPN security, antivirus, antispam, antibot, and advanced intrusion prevention and detection functionality
Cybersecurity multinational Check Point has released its latest 700-series cybersecurity systems for small businesses, which draw on its international threat intelligence to provide up-to-date cybersecurity, says Check Point South Africa country manager Doros...
More
 
 
Latest News
Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa
Cabinet has extended the contract of Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) director-general Nosipho Ngcaba and approved the appointment of Limpho Makotoko as the new DEA COO.     “Under the leadership of Ngcaba, the DEA has consistently received clean and...
Mzwandile Masina
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has invited companies to participate in a trade and investment mission to Ghana and Nigeria from August 8 to 12.   Companies in the agriculture and agroprocessing sectors, built environment professionals, automotive and...
Cabinet has approved the Industrial Policy Action Plan (Ipap) 2016/17 to 2018/19, which seeks to achieve a higher-impact industrial policy in difficult economic circumstances, including the difficulties faced by the domestic steel industry and the drought which has...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Automotive 2016: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Automotive 2016 Report provides an overview of South Africa’s automotive industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into local demand and production, vehicle imports and exports, investment and competitiveness in the sector, as well...
Energy Roundup – April 2016 (PDF Report)
The April 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for March 2016 and includes details of a North Gauteng High Court Judge’s dismissal of a court application to postpone the 9.4% electricity tariff increase, which the National Energy Regulator of South...
Electricity 2016: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2016 report provides an overview of South Africa’s electricity sector, focusing on State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Energy Roundup – March 2016 (PDF Report)
The March 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for February 2016 and includes details of the Department of Energy’s plans to announce the preferred bidders for the first tranche of the coal independent power producer procurement programme; the Council...
Steel 2016: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2016 Report examines South Africa’s steel industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the global steel market and and particularly into South South Africa’s steel sector, including production and consumption, main...
Construction 2016: A review of South Africa's construction industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2016 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; key participants; local demand; geographic diversification; corporate activity; black economic...
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
The two spent-fuel pools at Eskom’s 1 800 MW Koeberg nuclear power station, in the Western Cape, will be full by 2018, increasing the urgency on the State-owned utility to begin pursuing alternative storage options. Koeberg has, over the past 32 years, accumulated a...
South Africa lacks the skills necessary to implement the government’s plan to build 9.6 GWe of new nuclear energy capacity, warns nuclear-qualified Quality Strategies International CEO David Crawford. “Apart from the concern about the affordability of the programme,...
DOROS HADJIZENONOS The 700-series devices provide network security monitoring, app control, URL filtering, VPN security, antivirus, antispam, antibot, and advanced intrusion prevention and detection functionality
Cybersecurity multinational Check Point has released its latest 700-series cybersecurity systems for small businesses, which draw on its international threat intelligence to provide up-to-date cybersecurity, says Check Point South Africa country manager Doros...
Daimler Trucks and Buses Southern Africa (DTBSA) saw a marked slip in new-vehicle sales in 2015 compared with 2014, with sales dropping from 5 897 units to 5 300 units. The decline came as the South African new truck and bus market declined from 31 558 units in 2014...
Group of 20 (G-20) economies threatened to penalise havens that don’t share information on their banking clients after the leak of the Panama Papers provoked a global uproar over tax evasion. The G-20 will consider “defensive measures” against financial centers and...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $149 Close
Subscribe Now for $149