ACWA Power commissioning 50-MW CSP plant in S Africa

Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power said on Thursday it is commissioning the 50-MW Bokpoort concentrating solar power (CSP) plant in South Africa’s Northern Cape province.

Riyadh-based ACWA Power expects this molten salt solar thermal power station to start feeding electricity into Eskom’s Garona substation from early next year under a 20-year contract.

The CSP project, located at Groblershoop near Upington, is part of the country’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme.

The Bokpoort plant has thermal storage capacity of 1,300 MWh, which is equivalent to about 9.3 hours of operation. ACWA Power noted that this is the largest ever storage capacity adopted by such a facility.

“This project allows for delivery of electricity at the lowest possible cost into Eskom’s national power supply network, and will also enhance local socio-economic development and long-term growth,” said Mohammed Abunayyan, ACWA Power’s chairman.

The Saudi company has put upfront ZAR 5 million (USD 403,000/EUR 359,000) towards several development programmes in partnership with the !Kheis Municipality, including the installation and maintenance of 300 home photovoltaic (PV) solar systems in Duinefeld township.

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