Saudi’s ACWA Power has begun construction of the Redstone concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in South Africa.
Costing 11.6 billion rand ($830 million), ACWA said this was the largest renewable energy investment in the country.
Financing for the plant comes from a number of local and international sources. Participants include African Development Bank (AfDB), ABSA Bank, Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), CDC Group, Nedbank Limited, Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG), Investec Bank and Sanlam Life Insurance.
Redstone CSP has secured 7bn rand ($500mn) in foreign direct investment, ACWA said.
“Redstone CSP adds another superlative to our budding record in South Africa, being the largest renewable energy investment to date,” said ACWA’s president and CEO Paddy Padmanathan.
“As grid links are improved, the ingenuity of the private sector together with the great support of experienced finance partners has the potential to spark lasting impact for local communities and address the threats of climate change.”
Alongside ACWA, shareholders include the Central Energy Fund, Pele Green Energy and the local community.
The 100 MW CSP project, in the Northern Cape, will have a 12-hour thermal storage system. ACWA said this would provide power to nearly 200,000 households.
The plant is due to start up in the fourth quarter of 2023.
ACWA’s acting CIO Rajit Nanda said Redstone CSP was following in the steps of Bokpoort CSP. It uses the same thermal salt storage system.
“Redstone CSP is set to be yet another ACWA Power flagship project in South Africa that directly benefits households in the area with remarkable plant performance,” he said.
The Redstone CSP plan comes under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme phase 3, which dates to 2014.
A US-based company, SolarReserve, was working on the project. However, it declared bankruptcy in 2020 after encountering some challenges with its CSP technology.