Trade ministers from South Africa and Saudi Arabia have jointly inaugurated the 50 MW Bokpoort concentrating solar power (CSP) project, developed by a consortium led by ACWA Power in the Northern Cape province of South Africa.
Equipped with more than nine hours of thermal storage capacity, the Bokpoort CSP plant operates like a giant rechargeable battery, according to Saudi Arabia-based ACWA Power. The utility-scale storage system allows the project to feed over 200,000 South African households with electricity during the day and night, and the developer says this capability will help cover the country’s daily peak demand from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., reducing the potential for power blackouts.
The project was built as part of the South Africa government’s Renewable Energy Feed in Tariff Procurement Program.
“The formal inauguration of the Bokpoort CSP plant is a significant milestone in supplying South Africa with reliable and cost-competitive renewable electricity,” says ACWA Power Chairman Mohammad Abunayyan. “The success of the project demonstrates a robust partnership between the government of South Africa, through the Department of Energy, and ACWA Power.”
ACWA Power says the Bokpoort CSP plant is the first in a series of investments that the developer is making in South Africa. The company is expecting to commence construction on the 100 MW Redstone CSP project, also in Northern Cape, and is awaiting the outcome of tender submissions for another 150 MW CSP plant in the province.
Photo courtesy of ACWA Power