South Africa awards SolarReserve group 100MW CSP project

South Africa’s government has awarded a consortium led by California-based SolarReserve a 100MW (ac) concentrated solar power (CSP) project that will include molten salt energy storage technology in a tower configuration.

The Redstone Solar thermal Power Project will be the first of its kind in Africa and will enter commercial operation in early 2018.

SolarReserve and lead partner, International Company for Water and Power Projects, a Saudi firm, submitted the lowest tariff bid to the South Africa Department of Energy for any CSP facility in the country.

According to SolarReserve, Redstone with 12 hours of full-load energy storage will be able to reliably deliver a stable electricity supply to more than 200,000 South African homes during peak demand periods, even well after the sun has set.

It also features dry cooling of the power generation cycle as an important element to minimize water use. The project technology will be based on SolarReserve’s successful Crescent Dunes project in the US, now in final commissioning.

“The Redstone project marks an important technology advancement for South Africa in solar power,” said SolarReserve chief executive Kevin Smith.

“Due to the fully integrated thermal energy storage, the plant will provide dispatchable power on-demand, just like conventional coal, oil, nuclear or natural gas-fired power plants. But  without the harmful emissions or hazardous materials and without any fuel cost,” he adds.

Redstone will be located in the Northern Cape Province, adjacent to the 75MW Lesendi and 96MW Jasper PV projects successfully developed by SolarReserve and its investment partners.

Redstone was developed in response to the DOE’s Round 3 (CSP) Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPPP).