Riyadh headquartered power generation firm ACWA Power signed an agreement with Central Energy Fund of South Africa to develop a 100MW Redstone concentrated solar thermal power (CSP) plant in the country’s Northern Cape Province.
The 100MW power project, which is set to start construction this year, will supply power to 210,000 South African homes even during evening peak demand periods.
The announcement comes as Saudi Arabia and the UAE announce a $10 billion investment plan in South Africa after its president Cyril Ramaphosa paid a state visit.
The CSP plant will feature solar energy storage technology that will allow solar energy to be utilized to generate electricity not only when the sun is shining but also through the night, cumulatively dispatching 480,000 megawatt-hours per year.
The CSP plant will use a central salt receiver technology with 12 hours of thermal storage allowing the plant to generate during the evening peak demand periods. In addition, while photovoltaics (PV) or wind cannot serve the evening peak unless then linked with utility scale batteries which are extremely expensive, the CSP Central Tower solution will in comparison generate cost competitively more than double the MWh output of electrical energy per the rated MW capacity.
This is not ACWA Power’s first project in South Africa. The company has an independent power project and coal powered plant.