You are here

Abengoa completes solar tower for South Africa’s first CSP plant

Spanish solar construction firm reaches major step for 50MW concentrated solar power project Khi Solar One

A mock image of the completed tower.
The 205m-tall solar tower will generate 50MW for the Khi Solar One CSP plant once complete.

Spanish solar construction company Abengoa has completed the tower for South Africa’s first concentrated solar power plant. The 205m-tall solar tower, located in the Northern Cape Providence near the town Upington, will generate 50MW for the Khi Solar One CSP plant once complete.

Khi Solar One is a 50MW superheated steam solar tower with two hours of thermal storage. Abengoa said it consists of technology which represents an “important technological advance in tower efficiency,” including an innovative dry cooling system. The company also said the plant will add to its intention to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in South Africa by 498,000 tons each year.

“This achievement marks an important milestone in the execution of this project, a significant development for CSP tower technology itself, as well as a strong positive impact on the community and the country,” the company said.

The news follows Abengoa announcing its involvement in building the world’s biggest solar power towers in the US, earlier this year.

BRIC countries are starting to focus on CSP as a viable source of solar power. Developments include plans for a 100MW concentrated solar power project in India, which was approved in August.

The South Africa Department of Energy intends to bring 17,800MW online from renewable sources by 2030. Chinese firms are getting involved in helping the country to meet the target.

China’s Yingli Green Energy’s CEO last month placed South Africa as a renewable energy market to prioritise in the next few years. The company is also providing technology to develop the Jasper PV Plant, which will be the largest solar project in South Africa.