08 December 2011
Abengoa has been awarded two concentrated solar power (CSP) projects in the Republic of South Africa by that nation's Department of Energy: Khi Solar One and KaXu Solar One.
These two projects contribute to South Africa's goal to introduce up to 17,800 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy by 2030 and to reduce its dependence on oil and natural gas.
The announcement, made at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
(UNFCCC) 17th Conference of the Parties
(COP17) in Durban, South Africa listed Abengoa's Khi Solar One (50MW) and KaXu Solar One (100MW) as the only CSP projects currently in that country. The development of these two projects presents an excellent opportunity for South Africa to become a leader in CSP solar energy generation.
• Khi Solar One (50MW) 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 than the last tower Abengoa built in Andalucia, Spain. It is a result of the latest generation of solar tower technology using superheated steam, which was developed by Abengoa in its research and development (R&D) centres. The plant will also use the technologically advanced dry cooling, which reduces water consumption by 80%. The tower plant will be located on a 600-hectare (~1,500-acre) site close to Upington, South Africa, 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 will be hired. The plant will have two hours of thermal storage and will eliminate approximately 183,000 tons of carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions per year.
• KaXu Solar One, Abengoa's 100MW parabolic trough plant, will have storage capability for three hours and will be located on an 1,100-hectare (~2,700-acre) site near the town of Pofadder, South Africa in the Northern Cape Province. The plant will eliminate 315,000 tons of CO2 emissions each year. About 800 jobs 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 solar power projects will provide a clean energy future for South Africa and will 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 to build the industrial capacity that fuels the country's economic growth. The two plants will provide a dispatch-able energy resource that will enable the deployment of more intermittent renewable sources, such as wind and photovoltaics (PV), thus increasing South Africa´s clean energy sources.
The two projects together represent a total investment of approximately €1 billion EUR (~$1.3 billion USD). Construction on the South African concentrating solar projects is expected to begin in the second half of 2012, bringing the plants online in 2014.