South African Department of Energy picks developers for Kathu Solar Park

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South Africa’s engineering and construction group Sener have been awarded a contract to construct Kathu thermal solar plant in sunny Northern Cape South Africa with the help of Acciona renewable energy and Services Corporation.

Acciona Corporation with Senner group will form a consortium that will developa the Kathu solar park project and this will be led by GDF Duez. The South African partners including Sishen Iron ore and CCDT, Investment Bank and Public Investment Corporation will also assist in financing the solar park project.

The plant will be located at Kathu town near the Upington in the Nothern Cape province and the real operation is set to begin by the end of 2018 and this will be a boost to the homes estimated to about 100,000.

The project at the sunny Nothern Cape was selected by the South African Department of Energy to improve the renewable energy sector in the country.

The solar park thermal power project is forecasted to take up an investment of more than €500-million (R6.4-billion) and will be undertaken along Redstone Solar Thermal Power which will both see production of 100MW of power. Acciona and Sener were the preffered bidders for the project under the government’s third round of renewable energy development programme (REIPPP).

The Kathu solar park thermal power project will be able to produce a power capacity of 100MW by utilizing the parabolic troughs – specifically the SenerTrough-2 system designed and patented by sener. It will manage a thermal energy storage capacity of 4.5 hours due to use of molten salts.

The solar park will be the second largest solar thermal power project in the country after the Bokpoort plant in Upington in which Acciona and Sener have a common building consortium.

The Bokpoort plant in Upington is set to start its operation later this year and it is a turnkey project that uses SeneTrough Technology.