Solar plants now power the whole Northern Cape Province in South Africa
With yet another renewable energy (RE) project completed on time and on budget, one has to wonder why the Departments of Energy (DoE) and Public Enterprises (DPE) tolerate Eskom’s continued refusal to sign additional power producer agreements.
It is especially puzzling since the latest REIPPP energy price bids that Eskom refuse to sign are so much lower than the first ones.
Abengoa, a Spanish renewable energy company, recently announced the completion of its latest concentrated solar power (CSP) plant, Xina Solar One.
According to a representative from the company, the project supplies clean electricity to 95,000 South African households.
By means of Xina and two other plants the company built earlier, Kaxu Solar One and Khi Solar One, the company provides electricity to almost a million people in the Northern Cape.
These three projects have created 1,300 jobs during the construction phase, and now provide 80 permanent jobs during the operation and maintenance phase which will last for the next 25 years.
Concurrent with the country’s energy crisis, South Africa is experiencing the worst drought on record since 1933. South Africa is regarded as a water scarce region, and as the water crisis intensifies, it is imperative to pursue generation options which do not require the large amounts of water that coal-fired power stations do.
|Solar plants now power the whole Northern Cape
With yet another renewable energy project completed, one has to wonder why the government tolerates Eskom’s refusal to sign power producer agreements.