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South Africa’s impressive solar power plants

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posted on Feb, 11 2015 @ 05:53 AM
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This is in the light of the recent thread about South Africa facing a possible National Black-Out due to the incompetent ESKOM.



South Africa has some of the world’s largest solar power plants, which are starting to contribute significantly to the electricity grid.



South Africa is growing its alternative energy capacity with numerous photovoltaic power stations and wind farms across the country.

In recent months two major solar power plants went live, while two even larger concentrated solar thermal power (CSP) plants were announced.

SolarReserve announced on 11 November 2014 that the 96 megawatt (MW) photovoltaic (PV) Jasper solar power project was completed and fully operational.

The Sishen Solar Energy Facility came online in December 2014, with an estimated 216GWh per year of electricity generation.

In January the Department of Energy announced the construction of two new CSP plants, which will be built in the Northern Cape.

The Kathu Solar Park and Redstone Solar Thermal Power project, both of which will have 100MW capacity, are part of the government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).

These solar power plants complement other large solar installations, including the Kalkbult Solar Park, Lesedi Solar Park, and Letsatsi Solar Park.

Here is a look at some of South Africa’s existing and planned solar power plants.

Kalkbult solar power station – 75MW

The 75 megawatt Kalkbult solar photovolataic power station started to provide the grid with electricity in November 2013.

The power station is located near Petrusville in the Northern Cape, and is producing 150,000MWh per annum. This is enough to power 35,000 homes.

Scatec Solar was awarded the Kalkbult project in December 2011, and it was completed in September 2013. It was connected to the grid three months earlier than planned.



Lesedi Solar Park – 75MW

The 75 megawatt Lesedi solar power project near Kimberley was completed in May 2014.

The Lesedi power project was awarded by the South Africa Department of Energy in the first round of bidding under the South Africa Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme. Lesedi began full commercial operations in May 2014.




Letsatsi Solar Park – 75MW

The Letsatsi Solar Power Project near Bloemfontein was completed in May 2014 and is fully operational.

The project is playing its part in helping South Africa meet its renewable energy targets, in addition to stimulating long-term economic development and creating new jobs.



Jasper solar power project – 96MW

In November 2014 SolarReserve announced that the 96 megawatt photovoltaic Jasper solar power project was fully operational.

Jasper is located in South Africa’s Northern Cape in a solar park that also includes the 75MW Lesedi solar power project.

With over 325,000 PV modules, the Jasper project is delivering 180,000 megawatt-hours of electricity annually for South African residents.



Kathu Solar PV facility – 75MW

The 75MW Kathu Solar PV facility, based in the Northern Cape, commenced commercial operations in November 2014.

The project is expected to deliver 179GWh of clean energy into the grid annually, equivalent to the electricity requirements of 68,000 low-income households.



Sishen Solar Energy Facility – 94MW

The Sishen Solar Energy Facility came online in December 2014, with an estimated electricity generation of 216GWh per year.

The solar plant has 319,600 photovoltaic modules, with a peak capacity of 94.3 megawatts (MWp) – 74 nominal MW.



Redstone CSP plant – 100MW (announced)

The planned 100MW Redstone concentrated solar thermal power plant, which forms part of the South African REIPPPP, will be the biggest plant of its kind in South Africa.

The first of its kind on the continent, the Redstone Solar Thermal Power Project features SolarReserve’s molten salt energy storage technology in a tower configuration with the capability to support South Africa’s demand for energy when it’s needed most – day and night.

The 100MW project with 12 hours of full-load energy storage will be able to deliver electricity to more than 200,000 South African homes during peak demand periods, even well after the sun has set.

The biggest benefit of the CSP plant is that it produces electricity without harmful emissions or hazardous materials, and without any fuel cost for the 30+ year life of the project.

The Redstone Solar Thermal Power project is scheduled to commence operations in early 2018.




Kathu Solar Park – 100MW (announced)

The Kathu Solar Park project is a 100MW CSP project with parabolic trough technology.

The solar park project will be equipped with a molten salt storage system that allows 4.5 hours of thermal energy storage. It is situated in the Northern Cape Province, 600km south-west of Pretoria.


mybroadband.co.za...

edit on 11-2-2015 by IndependentOpinion because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 11 2015 @ 05:54 AM
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I've seen these in Bulgaria too: Google images

We are also planning some in the UK


Some interesting figures on UK solar power generation here.
edit on 11-2-2015 by and14263 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 11 2015 @ 05:58 AM
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a reply to: and14263

That's good! I am not some of those "No-to-Nuclear" guys, but I really think we should all move to this!



posted on Feb, 11 2015 @ 06:06 AM
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a reply to: IndependentOpinion

Our weakness has always been that we cannot store electricity - that is until now that some clever soul invented batteries that will do this job. However, we don't seem to have these things coming onto the market, even for those who have installed solar panels onto their homes. The simple ability to store the power from panels would mean a major ability for the country to be able to be more self sufficient with electricity. I just don't think with the vested interest of the oil barons we will have this marvellous opportunity without a huge fight by the public.

I am sick of being virtually held to ransom to ME politics and its oil because of energy and the sooner we are self-sufficient with today's technology andout of the ME, the happier I will be.



posted on Feb, 11 2015 @ 06:09 AM
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a reply to: IndependentOpinion

It's difficult to know what works and what doesn't.

In the UK we're told wind power is the future. At the moment it is government subsidised so is cheap but once the subsidy stops it will be expensive - couple that with the price of oil being low and you've got a whole load of hugh 7 plus GW wind turbines sitting in the sea wasting away because the are too expensive. Or more the power they produce is too expensive to buy.

Solar in sunny countries makes a lot of sense. In England where I live - it sounds crazy but might work if the panels are efficient. Photvoltaic over solar I believe is the key, not sure though.

I'm sure generating our own personal power is the future... but I don't think our governments would allow this. Just try putting up your own turbine.. not simple.



posted on Feb, 11 2015 @ 06:11 AM
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a reply to: Shiloh7

I think we can do this - I'm sure I read about this on a smaller scale... using piles of car batteries for the storage? Think it was on here I read about it.



posted on Feb, 11 2015 @ 06:14 AM
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a reply to: and14263


but I don't think our governments would allow this.


I have to agree in some way. I have not tried to put up a turbine, but many people here in SA has gone 100% green with no problems.



posted on Feb, 11 2015 @ 06:30 AM
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In Buckminster Fuller's book Critical Path, he recommended connecting the world via an ultra-high voltage electric grid.



Maybe we can use an entire desert somewhere for solar power, and connect it to the world-around electric grid.

Superconductive technology is also advancing.



posted on Feb, 11 2015 @ 06:50 AM
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originally posted by: and14263
a reply to: IndependentOpinion

It's difficult to know what works and what doesn't.

In the UK we're told wind power is the future. At the moment it is government subsidised so is cheap but once the subsidy stops it will be expensive - couple that with the price of oil being low and you've got a whole load of hugh 7 plus GW wind turbines sitting in the sea wasting away because the are too expensive. Or more the power they produce is too expensive to buy.

Solar in sunny countries makes a lot of sense. In England where I live - it sounds crazy but might work if the panels are efficient. Photvoltaic over solar I believe is the key, not sure though.

I'm sure generating our own personal power is the future... but I don't think our governments would allow this. Just try putting up your own turbine.. not simple.

Our UK gov treats solar (and all alternate energy sources) the same as gas,coal and nuclear ie an on demand system that can be powered up or down dependant on demand. However, this is clearly a nonsensical approach when using wind, solar and even tidal. These technologies must be backed up with a storage technology. The ironic thing is that the UK way back before nuclear was doing just that by building a huge hydro infrastructure across the UK but mainly northern England and Scotland. This has all but died a death which is jaw dropping considering that a large lake (or loch) up a mountain has way more energy (potential) than a massive bank of batteries.

NB IMHO the government purposely misuses wind and solar to "demonstrate" that is is committed to green solutions but we (it) really need nuclear !!!!!!!!!

THe correct linking of wind, wave and solar to hydro for the storage and smoothing process would enable the UK to be 100% green powered. You would also need the considerble contribution that could be made if all gables ends on houses had turbines and we had turbines adjacent (but higher) to the mobile phone masts that are everywhere.

One thing to remember, the government needs civil nuclear as a cover for military nuclear testing......



posted on Feb, 11 2015 @ 07:00 AM
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a reply to: nOraKat


Maybe we can use an entire desert somewhere for solar power, and connect it to the world-around electric grid.


This my be theoretically possible, but there is many problems with that plan, such as in the indigenous animals of the deserts, maintenance due to sandstorms, or the possibility of the desert expanding even more rapidly than before.



posted on Feb, 11 2015 @ 07:51 AM
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a reply to: IndependentOpinion

Especially if it's a sandy desert, where sand dunes move across the surface and bury everything in their paths.

Alternative energy will eventually be the main source of power in the world, but people really need to quit thinking that one source will cure the global energy ailments. Each area will need its own specific type. The goal should be to keep energy affordable, but at the same time making the generation of it local to communities, or even to individuals. I'd love having some wind turbines (I saw some designed to look like a tree...really neat) and solar panels on our "forever home" when we have it built, but I still don't think that it'll be enough to power everything, but maybe, as we are looking to get into the minimalist lifestyle and make a mini-homestead.

My point is that it's impossible to create a global energy source, and honestly, it shouldn't be the goal, because whomever has control of that source can exploit it for their own gains (i.e.: OPEC). The goal should be to get the production of energy into the hands of individuals and let them determine what works best for them.

My two cents, anyhow.



posted on Feb, 11 2015 @ 08:08 AM
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a reply to: SlapMonkey

I agree with the last part of your two cents. If we can avoid a monopoly in the energy providing, we should be fine. There should be both state owned and independent producers.



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