Saudi Arabia's ACWA Power has begun commercial operations at its 50 MW Bokpoort parabolic-trough plant in Northern Cape, South Africa, the company said in a statement March 15.
The Bokpoort plant can provide 9.3 hours of full load Thermal Energy Storage and cost 5 billion rand ($327 million) to build.
ACWA Power led the development of the project in a consortium which included several South African investors. 'Bokpoort CSP plant is the first in a series of investments in the power sector that ACWA Power is making in South Africa.
The company is expecting to commence construction on the 100 MW Redstone CSP Project, also in Northern Cape, and is awaiting the outcome of tender submissions for a 300 MW coal-fired plant in Mpumalanga and another 150 MW CSP plant also at Northern Cape,' ACWA Power said.
The Bokpoort project was allocated in the second round of South Africa's Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPPP), which was launched in 2011.
South Africa’s government aims to procure 13.2 GW of renewable energy by 2025, and aims to build 1.2 GW of CSP capacity. Around half of this CSP capacity has been allocated and a further 450 MW is expected to be allocated in the coming months following the latest tender round held in 2015.