EBR Staff Writer Published 05 April 2018
A consortium of SolarReserve and ACWA Power has signed a power purchasing agreement (PPA) with South Africa’s public electric utility company Eskom for the 100MW Redstone solar thermal power project in South Africa.
Planned to be built near Postmasburg in the Northern Cape Province, the solar thermal project will be able to supply clean electricity equivalent to powering more than 200,000 South African homes each year.
As per the deal, Eskom will purchase power generated by the solar thermal project for a period of 20 year.
The Redstone project, which is considered to be the first of its kind in Africa, will feature SolarReserve’s ThermaVault technology, a solar thermal technology with integrated molten salt energy storage designed to address intermittency issues experienced with other sources of renewable energy.
The ThermaVault technology allows the project to deliver non-intermittent clean energy to the South African grid even during peak periods.
SolarReserve CEO Kevin Smith said: “The Redstone project marks an important technology advancement for South Africa in clean, renewable power.
“Due to fully integrated thermal energy storage, the facility will provide power on-demand, just like conventional coal, oil, nuclear or natural gas-fired power plants, but without harmful emissions or hazardous materials, and without any fuel cost or foreign exchange risk.”
Expected to create over 4000 jobs during the construction and operation phases, the Redstone project will generate more than R7bn ($588m) in tax contributions over the first 20 years of operation.
The deal is part of the South Africa Department of Energy’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).
SolarReserve senior vice president Alistair Jessop said: “The REIPPPP is a world class program that SolarReserve and its partners and investors are committed to supporting as a long-term partner and investor.
“As a direct result of the program, our operating and awarded projects in South Africa will invest over 1.3 billion Rand in economic and socio-economic development.”
Image: The SolarReserve’s solar thermal plant in South Africa will have 100MW capacity. Photo: courtesy of Business Wire.