Khi Solar One, the first solar tower plant in Africa, starts commercial operation

    On 5 February, Abengoa began the commercial operation of Khi Solar One, the first solar thermal tower technology plant in operation in Africa. Khi Solar One (50 MW) is furthermore Abengoa’s third commercial solar tower and its first outside Spain. The tower is located on a 600 hectare site close to Upington, in the Northern Cape Province. This project will contribute to South Africa’s goals of introducing up to 17,800 MW of renewable energy by 2030 and reducing its dependence on oil and natural gas.

    This project is a public-private partnership awarded by the Department of Energy of South Africa and will supply clean and reliable electricity to Eskom, South Africa’s power utility, under a 20-year power purchase agreement. Abengoa, which has built and now operates and maintains the plant, owns 51% of the project; the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), one of South Africa’s largest development finance institutions, holds 29%; and Khi Community Trust controls the remaining 20%.

    Khi Solar One is a solar thermal super-heated tower technology plant, the first of its kind, with an installed capacity of 50 MW, capable of supplying 45,000 South African households with clean energy. The plant incorporates a storage system that enables production at maximum capacity for two hours without sun, thus bringing stability to electric production in the region. Read more…

    Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2016