South Africa lines up Africa’s biggest concentrated solar power (CSP) complex

A consortium led by Spanish company Abengoa has been selected as a preferred bidder by South Africa’s Department of Energy to build a second 100 megawatt (MW) concentrating solar power (CSP) plant near Pofadder.

The department is scheduled to officially announce the preferred bidders on Monday for the third round of its renewable energy programme for independent power producers, which aims to add 17 800 MW from renewable sources to South Africa’s energy mix by 2030.

Abengoa, which was confirmed on Tuesday as one of the preferred bidders, is currently building a 50 MW solar tower plant near Upington, also in the Northern Cape, and a 100 MW parabolic trough concentrated solar power plant, dubbed KaXu Solar One, near Pofadder.

Abengoa said on Tuesday that the new parabolic trough solar power plant, Xina Solar One, would be located alongside KaXu Solar One, with construction expected to start in 2014, and that the two 100 MW plants would “jointly shape the largest solar energy complex in Africa”.

Abengoa will control 40% of the consortium that owns Xina Solar One, with the rest controlled by the state-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and the KaXu Community Trust.

According to Abengoa, Xina Solar One CSP