Renewable energy firm, Abengoa has unveiled South Africa’s first solar tower in the first phase of the project known as Khi Solar One.
Khi Solar One, a 50 megawatt (MW) superheated steam solar tower with two hours of thermal storage, represents an important technological advance in tower efficiency by using higher temperatures and an innovative dry cooling system. This advancement is the result of the R&D work done by Abengoa in its research centers and pilot plants, the company denoted.
The unveiling was attended by South African government delegation and project partners, Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the Khi Community Trust.
Khi Solar One and KaXu Solar One, Abengoa’s 100 MW parabolic trough plant also under construction in the Northern Cape, will be the first concentrating solar power plants in operation in South Africa.
The department of energy intends to have 17,800 MW of power from renewable sources by 2030. This strategy has benefits such as having long term energy dependence and also creating numerous jobs.
The strategy hopes to create 1400 jobs per year and having 70 permanent operation jobs.
Abengoa designs, constructs and operates its own plants, and is one of the few companies that use both parabolic trough and tower technology. It currently has 21 plants in operation with a total installed capacity of 843 MW, as well as 810 MW under construction worldwide