The 50 MW Khi Solar One concentrated solar power plant near Upington, in the Northern Cape, has started commercial operation.
The plant is operated and maintained by Spanish technology group Abengoa, which owns 51% of the project, with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) holding a 29% stake and the Khi Community Trust the remaining 20%.
The plant, which makes use of solar thermal super-heated tower technology, is capable of supplying 45 000 South African households with clean energy. It incorporates a storage system that enables production at maximum capacity for two hours without sunlight to bring stability to electric production.
The project offers a myriad of socioeconomic and environmental benefits. Its operation would prevent the emission of 183 000 t of CO2 a year.
Additionally, the plant fosters socioeconomic development through the participation of local companies. Likewise, inclusion of local community members in the shareholding structure of the project, represented under the Khi Community Trust, serves as guarantee for long-term continuity of its positive impact.
Meanwhile, Abengoa is also celebrating the completion of the first year of operation of the 100 MW KaXu Solar One parabolic-trough plant, near Pofadder, in the Northern Cape.
The project is a partnership between Abengoa, the IDC and the KaXu Community Trust.
Abengoa, the IDC, the Public Investment Corporation and the KaXu Community Trust are also developing the 100 MW Xina Solar One parabolic-trough plant, near the KaXu Solar One plant.
Abengoa stated that these projects prove the company and the IDC’s commitment to renewable energy in South Africa.