South Africa's Ilanga 1 plant starts commercial operations

Updated:2018-12-13 15:54Source:New Energy Update

The 100 MW Ilanga 1 parabolic trough plant in South Africa, owned by domestic group Karoshoek Solar One, has started commercial operations on schedule, EPC consortium partners Sener, Emvelo and Grupo Cobra, said in a joint statement December 5.

The Ilanga 1 project was awarded in 2015 in the third round of South Africa's Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Program (REIPPPP). The plant incorporates five hours of molten salt thermal energy storage (TES) capacity.

“This is the first CSP plant in the history of the [REIPPPP] that was conceived and developed by a 100% black-owned South African entity," Pancho Ndebele, founder of Emvelo, said in the statement.

"We are particularly pleased that it was completed on time, within budget, within the required quality standards, in line with the contracted output performance and within acceptable safety standards," Siyabonga Mbanjwa, Regional Managing Director for Sener Southern Africa, said.

South Africa's installed CSP capacity was 300 MW at the end of 2017. Including Ilanga 1, 300 MW of projects are expected online by the end of 2019.

In August, South Africa's government published a draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for 2010–2030 which includes no explicit support or targets for new CSP projects. The IRP sets out annual targets for PV and wind capacity and ditches support for new nuclear  plants.

South Africa's draft power generation plan

(Click image to enlarge)


Source: South African government's draft Integrated Resource Plan (August 2018).

The IRP sets out a least-cost approach to new independent power plants and includes revised assumptions on technology costs, power demand and Eskom's power generation performance. The South African government has collected market feedback on the plan and is expected to make further announcements in the coming months.

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