Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), as a viable alternative to traditional electricity baseload power, has demonstrated alignment with the South African governments’ national agendas of achieving inclusive growth including job-creation, manufacturing, construction and rural development.
South Africa’s Northern Cape Province is home to a 100MW greenfield Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project, which is providing clean and reliable energy to 179,000 homes, while promoting local employment and bolstering the region’s business sector. The Kathu Solar Park is modelled with parabolic trough technology and equipped with a molten salt storage system that allows 4.5 hours of thermal energy storage and thus limits the intermittent nature of solar energy and guarantee dispatchable energy generation to meet on demand needs.
The plant was first synchronised to the grid in October 2018 and started commercial operation in January 2019. Siyabonga Mbanjwa, Regional Managing Director of SENER Southern Africa stated: “With the completion of Kathu Solar Park, we show our firm commitment to the development of a renewable energy industry in South Africa. Concentrated Solar Power, as a viable alternative to traditional baseload sources of energy, has a demonstrated alignment with South Africa’s national agenda of achieving inclusive growth that includes job-creating, manufacturing, construction and rural development. Reaching commercial operation at Kathu means that the energy supply to the local community is secure and demand is well managed while contributing to mitigate the effects of climate change”.