South Africa’s US $144m Kathu solar park synchronized to the grid

14 December 2018

South Africa’s 100MW Kathu Solar Park located in the Northen Cape, has not officially made it’s first synchronization to the national grid.

SENER and ACCIONA Industrial, The tech and engineering companies, announce they have reached a critical milestone in the project of a million dollar solar park.

The managing director for SENER Southern Africa Regional, Mr Siyabongo Mbanjwa, said that the synchronisation has complied with all expected parameters to ensure the supply power starts and end users can use the reliable energy when the plant is in operation.

The plant has a molten salt storage system that will allow the plant to keep making electricity 4.5 hours steadily in absence of any solar radiation and have dispatchable energy generation to meet on demand needs.

The solar park should provide clean and reliable energy to around 180,000 homes.

The park is also cost effective by using the molten salt as a thermal energy storage system to store the energy from the sun, producing and dispatching electricity, in the absence of solar radiation, to satisfy South Africa’s peak demand.

Construction on the unit started in May 2016, and it’s thought to be complete in early 2019. It is thought at around 1,200 jobs are being created impacting positively the local employment prospects. In addition to this, it’s estimated that Kathu Solar Park will save six million tons of CO2 over 20 years, it’ll make more local economic development throughout several projects.

With the first synchronisation at Kathu Solar Parkbeing successful it is heading into the final stages of the construction andcommissioning phase. This will ultimately reach the commercial operation datefor the plant in the next couple of months.

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