Construction is currently in progress at the Redstone Concentrated Solar Power Project, which is situated in the Humansrus Solar Park, in the Northern Cape, between Tsanstabane and Kgatelopele. 100 megawatts (MW) of electricity will be added to the national grid after construction concludes, expectedly in 2023. By 2024, the plant will start operations.
Under South Africa’s Renewable Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP) Bid Window 3.5, the South African Department of Energy (DOE) picked ACWA Power and SolarReserve as the project’s winners in 2015.
Other huge investors in the project include the Public Investment Commission with 13.5%, Community with 12.5%, Old Mutual Life Assurance South Africa with 10%, and Pele Green with 4%.
WorleyParsons carried out the Redstone Solar Thermal Power Plant’s environmental management program (EMPr), and Savannah Environmental was involved to review it. The project will be operated and maintained by the First National Operation and Maintenance (NOMAC).
The park is next to the solar power projects Jasper (96 MW) and Lesedi (75 MW). With a combined generation capacity of 271 megawatts, the three projects have become the world’s first combined concentrated solar power and PV solar park.
The plant’s vital components include a molten salt receiver, a solar field connected to the grid, and thermal energy storage. The solar field is made up of heliostats, which capture the sun’s energy and convey it to a molten salt receiver atop a 250-meter-tall tower. Eventually, this is converted to thermal energy.
The 115 megawatt high-temperature subcritical steam turbine generating units will make up the thermal-to-electric power conversion unit.
A sewage treatment plant, two molten salt storage tanks, air-cooled condensers, and a system for purifying water are all included in the auxiliary infrastructure. A step-up transformer, an electrical switchyard, an evaporation pond, and associated facilities are additional elements.
To minimize water use while in operation, the solar power plant will also use dry cooling during the power generation cycle.
In order to acquire the electricity generated by the Redstone Solar Thermal Power plant, Eskom inked a 20-year power purchase agreement with the construction consortium. A new switching station with 132 kV capacity and a 34 km transmission line will connect the project to the national grid.
In addition to consuming less than 200,000 cubic meters of water annually, the project will lower carbon dioxide emissions by 480 kilotons a year. The project will cost a total of US$162.45. An operational life of more than 30 years is anticipated.
It will guarantee a steady electrical supply to at least 200,000 households with 12 hours of full-load energy storage.
The strategic energy transformation goals of the country have received US$98 million in foreign direct investment thanks to Redstone’s support. Co-shareholders in the project with ACWA Power include the Pele Green Energy, Central Energy Fund, as well as the surrounding community. Advanced precision drives for the project will be provided by Brightsource Energy.
The project will address the gap in the energy supply, decrease dependence on coal, cut carbon emissions, create employment, and support a national solar industry. It will reduce production costs during peak hours and provide South Africa with sustainable energy.
Reported on February 19, 2022
Redstone Concentrated Solar Power Project Updates
Redstone Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Project Overview
The Redstone concentrated solar power project is being developed by a consortium of SolarReserve-a leading energy solution provider in Africa, and ACWA Power-a developer, investor, and operator of power generation and desalinated water production plants, on a 648 hectares piece of land in the Humansrus Solar Park located towards the east of Postmasburg, Northern Cape Province.
The 100MW project has a 250m-tall central receiver tower with a 12-hour full-load energy storage capacity that allows for the storage of heat energy harvested from the sun. The tower employs ThermaVault technology which combines solar thermal technology with molten salt energy storage technology. This feature enables energy dispatch after sunset and provides energy supply during peak demand periods, helping to prevent power interruptions and load shedding.
Upon completion, the project will provide approximately 200,000 South African households with clean and reliable energy owing to a 20-year power purchase agreement signed with South Africa’s state-owned utility Eskom, and help to offset around 480,000 tons of carbon per year – equivalent to the per capita emissions of 67,000 South Africans.
Reportedly, this is the country’s first renewable energy plant to provide auxiliary services. The initiative has been verified by the Climate Bonds Standard and Certification Scheme and is in line with the goals of the Paris climate accord, which aims to keep global warming to less than 2°C.
Redstone CSP project in South Africa to get US$ 50M boost
CDC Group (“CDC”), the UK’s development finance institution (DFI) and impact investor, has announced a US$ 50M project finance direct debt investment to Redstone Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project in South Africa.
The project is also supported by other investors such as the African Development Bank (AfDB), Absa Bank, Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), Nedbank, Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG), Investec Bank, Sanlam Life Insurance, Pele Green Energy, the Government-owned Central Energy Fund, and a Community Trust aimed at benefitting the immediate area of the project.
The lender partnership has resulted in an investment of approximately US$ 800M in the Redstone Project, making it one of the largest project finance deals ever done in the Southern Africa Country.
First loan repayment made for the Redstone Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project
The Redstone Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project developers in South Africa have made the first loan repayment after borrowing US$ 770M from a variety of development banks and private investors.
The monies mobilization was facilitated by African Development Bank (AfDB) on behalf of the project’s developers, Saudi Arabian independent power producer (IPP) Acwa Power, South African Pele Green Energy, Central Energy Fund, and the local community.
The AfDB has allocated more than US$ 152M to the Northern Cape project while the remainder of the funding is provided by development banks, including the UK’s CDC Group, Germany’s Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG), the Netherlands’ Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), and South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).
Absa Bank, Investec Bank, Nedbank, and Sanlam are among the private investors involved in the funding of the Redstone Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project.
The solar thermal project site has been under construction for nine months. Engineering work is more than 58% complete, while procurement and construction are more than 45% and 6% complete, respectively, according to the AfDB. The tower’s foundation has already been completed, representing a significant construction milestone. At this rate, the PSC might be operational in the fourth quarter of 2023.