KaXu solar one power plant in Northern Cape, South Africa

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KaXu solar one power project is a 100MW concentrated solar power (CSP) plant constructed on a 1,100-ha site near Pofadder in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. It is the first CSP plant in South Africa to use parabolic trough technology. The project was officially opened in March 2015.

The KaXu Solar One project has a 310 ha solar field fitted with 1,200 Abengoa Solar parabolic trough solar collector assemblies (SCA), which are put together in 300 loops and each consists of ten modules.

The solar plant, which employs the dry cooling technique and a two-tank, indirect molten salt-based thermal energy storage system, will have a 20-year projected lifespan. After the sun sets, electricity can be produced for five hours using the thermal energy that has been stored.

In addition to providing clean electricity to almost 80,000 African homes, it also annually offsets 315,000t of CO2 emissions.

Reported in August 2014

KaXu Solar One Power plant Receives Financing from South Africa’s Development Bank

KaXu Solar One Power plant which is being constructed near Pofadder in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa will receive US $ 0.13bn from the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) after it signed a contract of financing with the European Investment Bank (EIB).

DBSA noted that it was encouraged by EIB because of the way it handled its power generation investment strategy, something which would help improve the security of energy supply, thus optimizing the South African energy mix.

The 100MW solar power plant is jointly owned by Abengoa Solar which has 51 percent shares, Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) at 29%, and Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) at 20%.

One of the main aims of the solar power plant is to help collect solar energy through parabolic technology, and then convert it into electricity in the steam cycle. The plant will also have a built-in molten salt storage system to help store energy during off-peak hours, and then dispatch it during peak hours.

KaXu Solar One Power project is among the 28 renewable energy projects that the South African Department of Energy (DoE) announced in 2011.

The Groundbreaking ceremony for the KaXu Solar One project took place in November 2012 and the project is expected to help create 1,500 jobs during the construction phase and 65 permanent jobs when it starts operating.