The Sishen Solar Plant in the Northern Cape announced that the plant began feeding 94MW of renewable power into South Africa’s national grid in November, Reuters reported.
With the capacity to electrify 100 000 residential homes, the plant will contribute to the national grid and alleviate some of the pressure to keep up with increasing energy demand.
The Sishen Solar Plant is co-owned with Spanish Acciona, South African construction company Aveng and the Soul City Broad-Based Empowerment Company as well as a community trust.
Rafael Mateo, chief executive of Acciono Energia said that ‘we reached the commercial phase of operation of the plant last month, we are currently delivering all the energy to the system’.
Government has plans to procure 3 725MW of renewable power from the private sector by 2016.
With the construction time of solar and wind farms a lot shorter than coal, Mateo highlighted the need for Eskom to encourage and drive renewable energy projects.
‘Renewable energy is a very good idea for Eskom to solve at least their short term needs’, he said.
Minister in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe said that government was seeking funds to assist Eskom with the purchase of diesel, which is running at a deficit, to fuel its peaking power plants, Bloomberg reported.
‘The lack of sufficient capacity to meet the country’s energy needs remains a challenge. All attempts are being made to ensure that we overcome the tight energy situation’, Radebe said.
(Pic Credits: Acciona, PV Magazine)