ENGIE starts operations at 100MW South Africa’s solar plant

General2Kathu is the first Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) development for ENGIE. (Image source: ENGIE)ENGIE, a French multinational electric utility company, said commercial operation for the 100 MW Kathu Solar Park in South Africa was achieved on 30 January 2019

The company stated that the solar park will provide 179,000 homes in the local community of the John Taolo Gaetsewe District Municipality, Northern Cape and South Africa as a whole with clean and reliable energy.

It is estimated that the solar park will save six million tonnes of CO2 emissions over the next 20 years.

The Kathu site covers approximately 4.5 km2 with 384,000 mirrors and is ENGIE’s first Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) development.

The solar park was awarded under Round 3.5 of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPP), a competitive tender process that was launched to facilitate private sector investment in renewable energy generation.

Isabelle Kocher, CEO of ENGIE, commented, “The completion of the solar park shows our continued commitment to economic and environmentally friendly development in South Africa.”

“Kathu with its molten salt storage design offers a clean solution to overcome the intermittency of renewable energies. We are proud to contribute to the country's renewable energy goals, and look forward to continuing the projects initiated with local communities making it a genuine driver of regional economic development,” she added.

The solar park shareholders, which are led by ENGIE (48.5 per cent), include a group of South African investors comprising SIOC Community Development Trust, Investec Bank, Lereko Metier Sustainable Capital Fund, and its co-investors FMO, the Dutch development bank and DEG, the German investment and development company, and the Public Investment Corporation.

The main contractor for the solar park (EPC) was Liciastar – a Spanish consortium of SENER and Acciona in addition to the Kelebogile Trust.

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