Plants will bring economic benefits to the Northern Cape region while providing a clean energy resource. Abengoa (MCE: ABG), the international company that applies innovative technology solutionsfor sustainable development in the energy and environment sectors, has been awarded the first two CSP projects in South Africa by South Africa’s Department of Energy. These two projects contribute to South Africa’s goal to introduce up to 17,800 MW of renewable energy by 2030 and reduce its dependence on oil and natural gas.
The announcement, made at the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP17 in Durban, listed Abengoa’s Khi Solar One (50 MW) and KaXuSolar One (100 MW) as the only CSP projects in South Africa. South Africa has one of the best solar resources in the world, and the development of these two projects presents an excellent opportunity to become a leader in CSP solar energy generation.
Abengoa’s two solar power projects will not only provide a clean energy future for South Africa, but will also bring economic development to the region. Abengoa will own 51% of each of the projects, with the remaining 49% to be held by the state-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). The IDC is South Africa’s largest development finance institution and has helped build the industrial capacity that fuels the country’s economic growth.
Manuel Sanchez Ortega, Abengoa’s CEO, stated, "Being awarded thesetwo new projects is the best proof of the ongoing advances in CSP technology as a result of the important investments in R&D programs that the sector and specifically Abengoa are making. CSP will play a keyrole in the 21st century energy mix as it is clean, dispatchable, renewable and able to be stored."
Khi Solar One (50 MW) will be Abengoa’s third commercial solar tower and its first outside of Spain. This plant represents important technological advances in efficiency as it uses higher temperatures during the generation process and has more than double the capacity thanthe last tower Abengoa built in Andalucia. It is a result of the latest generation of solar tower technology using superheated steam, which was developed by Abengoa in its R&D centers. The plant will also use the technologically advanced dry cooling, which dramatically reduces water consumption by 80%. The tower plant will be located on a 600hectare site close to Upington, also in the Northern Cape Province. An average of 600 construction jobs will be created during the construction period and around 35 full-time plant operations employees willbe hired. The plant will have 2 hours of thermal storage and will prevent approximately 183,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year.
KaXu Solar One, Abengoa’s 100 MW parabolic trough plant, will havestorage capability for 3 hours, and will be located on a 1,100 hectare site near the town of Pofadder in the Northern Cape Province. The plant will prevent 315,000 tons of CO2 emissions each year. About 800jobs will be created during the construction period, with about 35 permanent plant operations jobs to follow. Around 200 direct and indirect full-time jobs per year will be created in the local community. This plant also uses the technologically advanced dry cooling system.
Abengoa’s two CSP plants, deploying the newest, most efficient solar technologies, will be a part of the foundation for the future of South Africa’s renewable energy growth, started by the 1,416 MW awarded during this tender. The two plants will provide a dispatchable energy resource that will enable the deployment of more intermittent renewable sources, such as wind and PV, thus increasing South Africaos clean energy sources.
Both projects represent a total investment of approximately 1 billion euros.
Abengoa is currently building 1,010 MW of solar plants all over the world, and with an additional 393 MW already operating, is the only company in the world building and operating both trough and power tower CSP plants. Construction on the South African concentrating solarprojects is expected to begin in the second half of 2012, bringing the plants online in 2014.