Abengoa has reported progress on its third solar power project under South Africa’s ambitious Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement program.
The Xina Solar One concentrated solar power project has secured debt financing, the owner and developer of the project, Abengoa, has announced. The project, with a capacity of 100 MW, was secured by the company during the third auction under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) program.
Abengoa will also integrate 5-hour storage based on molten salts. The project would require a total investment of $1 billion and will be supported by several banks and financial institutions. The project will get debt financing from African Development Bank, the International Finance Corporation, Industrial Development Corporation, and the Development Bank of Southern Africa; and local private banks such as RMB, Nedbank, and ABBA.
The power plant will be set up in the Northern Cape province where two other solar thermal projects are being constructed by Abengoa. The construction on the project has already begun and it is expected to be commissioned by the third quarter of 2017. Once operational the project will generate enough electricity to fulfil the demand of 90,000 households and offset almost 400,000 metric tonnes of CO2e.
Abengoa is already working on two other CSP projects that it had secured bids for during earlier auctions of REIPPP program. Work on the 100 MW Kaxu Solar One and the 50 MW Khi Solar One CSP plants is in advanced stages.
The REIPPP program has been very successful and several domestic and international companies have participated in the three rounds of auction conducted by the South African government. All the companies that secured the bids to set up projects have signed power purchase agreements with Eskom. Together, all these projects will have a cumulative capacity of about 18 GW and will push the share of renewable energy significantly higher in South Africa’s electricity mix.
Recent completion of large-scale solar power plants that had been allocated through auctions has pushed South Africa into the top 10 markets for utility-scale solar power globally.
Image Credit: Abengoa Solar