Construction of SA’s Kathu solar project kicks off
Construction has started after the signing of a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) between ENGIE and Eskom. The 100MW Kathu Solar project is likely to be ready by mid- 2018. The project is a concentratedsolarpower (CSP) park being constructed by Spanish engineering and construction companies SENER and ACCIONA. SENER has designed and patented a parabolic trough technology to be used exclusively for this project. The project will also be outfitted with a molten salt storage system that will allow 4.5 hours of thermal energy storage to lengthen the operational capacity of the plant after the sun sets. The project is expected to produce adequate power to supply about 150,000 houses.
Bruno Bensasson CEO of ENGIE Africa Business Unit said the project will be their first Concentrated Solar Project, supporting the country’s strategy of increasing renewable energy and shows their commitment to being a partner sustainable power generation on the continent.
About 1,200 jobs will be created locally during the construction period.
It is expected that the Solar Park will save six million tonnes of CO2 over 20 years and will additionally encourage local economic development through diverse projects such as a local community trust for the benefit of the local communities