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Oct 14, 2010

US firm to develop master plan for Upington solar park

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US-based Fluor Corporation will unveil a detailed conceptual master plan for the proposed solar park to be built in South Africa's Northern Cape province, at the upcoming South African Solar Park Investor Conference.

The group had been selected to undertake the development of such a master plan on behalf of the Department of Energy (DoE), following the recent completion of a prefeasibility study by the Clinton Climate Initiative.

The DoE is considering building a mixed-technology solar park to produce about 5 000 MW of electricity near Upington.

The solar park, which would be one of the biggest in the world, would cost about R150-billion to develop and could host photovoltaic and concentrated photovoltaic plants, as well as concentrating solar power technologies.

The first phase of the solar park will target production of 1 000 MW, built in increments from a range of solutions.

The first electricity could start flowing into the country's power grid by 2012.

"We are closely collaborating with South Africa's DoE and the Clinton Climate Initiative on this potential flagship solar power development," said Fluor president Dave Dunning.

The DoE intends to establish a Solar Park Authority as a unit within the State-owned Central Energy Fund to facilitate the advancement of the project.

The DoE was hosting the South African Solar Park Investor Conference on October 28 and October 29 to discuss regulatory, financial, technical, skills and environmental hurdles to large-scale investment in solar.

 

 

Edited by: Mariaan Webb
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