On Thursday, the South African Department of Energy approved the construction of a 100MW solar power plant in Kimberley, Bloomberg reported.

The 100MW Redstone solar plant will be constructed by US SolarReserve and Saudi Arabian ACWA Power. The plant will reach completion in 2018.

Derek Campbell, energy finance analyst at Bloomberg said that South Africa is on the path to having the third largest installed renewable energy capacity by 2020.

‘South Africa now has 700MW of solar thermal projects in various stages of development and at this rate will have the third-largest installed capacity by 2020 after Spain and the US [,] based on current developments’, Campbell said.

Once in operation the plant will not only offer the cheapest form of power, but it will generate an estimated ZAR6 billion of income tax over the initial 20 years and create 800 jobs during the construction phase of the project.

‘Redstone is now the cheapest in terms of tariff for solar thermal in South Africa at a cost of $124 [R1 450] a megawatt-hour and the overall project cost is also on the low side at $715m [R8.36bn]’, Campbell said.

The plant will be able to deliver power-on-demand owing to its thermal energy storage system which will equalise peaks between supply and demand, SolarReserve CEO Kevin Smith told media.

 

(Pic Credits: Marvel Green Energy)