SOUTH AFRICA: CEF and Acwa Power co-finance Redstone solar power plant

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BURKINA FASO: Solar energy to light 600 households and many SMEs© Raul Baenacasado /shutterstock

The partnership between Central Energy Fund (CEF) and Acwa Power will raise funds to accelerate the construction of the Redstone solar thermal power plant in the northern Cape Province of South Africa. This plant will have a generating capacity of 100 MW.

During the visit of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to Saudi Arabia, an agreement was signed between Central Energy Fund (a South African public energy investment fund, editor’s note) and Acwa Power, a partnership to co-finance several renewable energy projects. The agreement was initialled by Godfrey Moagi, representing Central Energy Fund, Saudi Finance Minister Mohamed Al-Jadaan, Trade and Investment Minister Majed Al Qassabi, Ahmed Qattan, Saudi Ambassador to South Africa, Ghurm Al-Malhan and Sami Al Obaidy, Chairman of the Saudi Chambers Council, as well as Mohamed Abunayyan, Director of Acwa Power, and Paddy Padmanathan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of this Saudi state-owned company.

This agreement will first benefit the project to build a solar thermal power plant in Redstone, a locality in the northern Cape Province.

Redstone Solar Thermal Power Plant

“We are pleased to conclude this agreement, which reinforces our efforts to support the renewable energy programme in South Africa. We are committed to providing the country with the most advanced and versatile solar technology solutions that can produce clean energy efficiently,” solemnly pledged Paddy Padmanathan, Acwa Power’s PCA. The future Redstone solar thermal power plant will therefore be a test for this Saudi commitment.

This project has been in the works since 2015; it was to be inaugurated in 2018 but the reorientation of South Africa’s energy policy under Jacob Zuma had delayed him. Finally, its construction must begin before the end of this year. The solar thermal power plant will have a storage technology that will allow energy to be used not only when the sun shines, but also at night. It is therefore a technology that incorporates a salt battery that guarantees up to 12 hours of thermal storage, allowing the plant to generate energy during periods of high consumption, especially in the evening.

Built by the American company SolarReserve, and the Arab water and energy development company Acwa Power, this future solar thermal power plant will have a production capacity of 100 MW, or 480,000 MWh per year. This amount of energy can be used to light 210,000 homes in Cape Town province. The total cost of the project is $715 million.

Jean Marie Takouleu


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