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SolarReserve consortium signs PPA for 100MW solar thermal project in South Africa

CTBR Staff Writer Published 05 April 2018

A consortium of SolarReserve and ACWA Power has signed a power purchasing agreement for the 100MW Redstone Solar Thermal Power Project in South Africa.

Electricity generated from the project will be supplied to Eskom, South Africa’s public electric utility company under a 20 year PPA.

The project which will be located near Postmasburg in the Northern Cape Province, will be able to supply enough electricity to be supplied to more than 200,000 South African homes each year.

Considered to be the first of its kind in Africa, the project will use SolarReserve’s ThermaVault technology, a solar thermal technology with integrated molten salt energy storage, which addresses intermittency issues experienced with other sources of renewable energy. 

With the technology, the Redstone power station will be able to supply 100MW of non-intermittent clean energy to the South African grid.

SolarReserve CEO Kevin Smith said: “The Redstone project marks an important technology advancement for South Africa in clean, renewable power.

"Due to fully integrated thermal energy storage, the facility will provide power on-demand, just like conventional coal, oil, nuclear or natural gas-fired power plants, but without harmful emissions or hazardous materials, and without any fuel cost or foreign exchange risk."

As SolarReserve’s technology is expected to store 1,200MWh of energy daily, Redstone will deliver continuous electricity to the national grid for up to 17 hours a day as per the PPA.  

The Redstone project will create over 4000 jobs during the construction and operation phases of the project. Once completed, the project will generate more than R7bn ($588m) in tax contributions over the first 20 years of operation.

Smith said: "We look forward to working with our partners and stakeholders, including the communities where the project is located, to support South Africa in meeting its energy supply targets, stimulating long-term economic development, and creating new jobs and businesses.”

Image: SolarReserve 100MW solar thermal plant in South Africa will include 1200MWh energy storage. Photo: Courtesy of Business Wire.