Spanish companies Sener Group and Acciona SA (BME:ANA) have synchronised with the local power grid the 100-MW Kathu concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in Northern Cape, South Africa.
The synchronisation, regarded as a “critical milestone,” will allow the project to enter the final construction and commissioning phase, scheduled for early next year. The commercial operation date for the facility will be in the next couple of months, said Siyabonga Mbanjwa, Sener’s regional managing director for Southern Africa. Construction of the park was initiated in May 2016.
The Kathu CSP complex will be equipped with a molten salt storage system allowing for 4.5 hours of thermal energy storage. It will use technology by Sener, including its parabolic troughs, and will be able to produce enough power to supply 179,000 homes, offsetting six million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions over a 20-year period.
Acciona is leading the consortium that won the turnkey engineering, construction and commissioning contract for the project, while Sener is supplying technology. The companies behind the scheme are French utility Engie (EPA:ENGI), which is a majority shareholder with a 48.5% stake, the Government Employees Pension Fund (PIC), SIOC Community Development Trust, Development Bank of Southern Africa Ltd, Investec Bank, Lereko Metier and the Kathu Trust.
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