ACWA Power’s Bokpoort Concentrated Solar Power plant breaks African record

ACWA Power, a leading developer, investor and operator of power generation and desalinated water plants worldwide, announced Wednesday that its South African Bokpoort CSP plant has become the first renewable facility in the continent to complete a full week of continuous round the clock operation.

Bokpoort CSP set the new African continental benchmark achieving 13 days (312 hours) of continuous operations on Oct. 23, 2020, which translates to approximately 13GWh of energy supply to the grid at an energy load factor of 83%, and 20 hours of full load operations daily (with a 50MW turbine) akin to base-load technologies — almost double the previous record it had set in March 2016.

This accomplishment was made possible by optimally managing 9.3 hours of the thermal salt storage system overnight, which allowed for a perfectly timed transition to the solar field every morning for the entire duration of this effort.

The plant delivered the highest ever production for the months of August and September and has continued to deliver an excellent performance in October 2020, achieving an all-time highest daily record of 1028MWh earlier this month, despite global challenges and lockdown protocol arising from the COVID19 pandemic.

The 50 MW concentrated solar power (CSP) plant with thermal storage was commissioned during the 2nd bidding window of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP) and has been setting consistent records, since commencement of its commercial operations in 2016.