ACCIONA Industrial has broken ground on this 100 MW solar thermal power plant in the province of Northern Cape, South Africa.
Kathu Solar Park, located in the town of Kathu, province of Northern Cape, South Africa, is a 100 MW CSP solar thermal energy plant. ACCIONA Industrial is a member of the consortium that is carrying out this project, which is expected to start operations in the second half of 2018.
The project began after a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) was signed between ENGIE and Eskom, the public electricity utility of South Africa.
Kathu Solar Park is a Concentrated Solar Power plant (CSP) equipped with parabolic trough collector technology and a thermal storage system using molten salts to enable 4.5 hours of thermal energy supply, which extends the plant's operating capacity after sunset. Kathu will produce enough energy to provide for the electricity demand of 150,000 homes.
Construction of this plant began in May 2016 and is expected to be finished in the second half of 2018. During the construction phase of this project, around 1,200 new jobs will be created, roughly 36% of which will be local. In addition, Kathu Solar Park is expected to prevent six million tonnes of CO2 emissions over the course of 20 years and will promote local economic development through various projects, such as a local community fund to benefit the surrounding John Taolo Gaetsewe area in Northern Cape, as well as subcontracting of other services to local contractors.