Construction is currently in progress at the Redstone Concentrated Solar Power Project, which is situated in the Humansrus Solar Park, in the Northern Cape, between Tsanstabane and Kgatelopele. 100 megawatts (MW) of electricity will be added to the national grid after construction concludes, expectedly in 2023. By 2024, the plant will start operations.
Under South Africa’s Renewable Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP) Bid Window 3.5, the South African Department of Energy (DOE) picked ACWA Power and SolarReserve as the project’s winners in 2015.
Other huge investors in the project include the Public Investment Commission with 13.5%, Community with 12.5%, Old Mutual Life Assurance South Africa with 10%, and Pele Green with 4%.
WorleyParsons carried out the Redstone Solar Thermal Power Plant’s environmental management program (EMPr), and Savannah Environmental was involved to review it. The project will be operated and maintained by the First National Operation and Maintenance (NOMAC).
The park is next to the solar power projects Jasper (96 MW) and Lesedi (75 MW). With a combined generation capacity of 271 megawatts, the three projects have become the world’s first combined concentrated solar power and PV solar park.
The plant’s vital components include a molten salt receiver, a solar field connected to the grid, and thermal energy storage. The solar field is made up of heliostats, which capture the sun’s energy and convey it to a molten salt receiver atop a 250-meter-tall tower. Eventually, this is converted to thermal energy.
The 115 megawatt high-temperature subcritical steam turbine generating units will make up the thermal-to-electric power conversion unit.
A sewage treatment plant, two molten salt storage tanks, air-cooled condensers, and a system for purifying water are all included in the auxiliary infrastructure. A step-up transformer, an electrical switchyard, an evaporation pond, and associated facilities are additional elements.
To minimize water use while in operation, the solar power plant will also use dry cooling during the power generation cycle.
In order to acquire the electricity generated by the Redstone Solar Thermal Power plant, Eskom inked a 20-year power purchase agreement with the construction consortium. A new switching station with 132 kV capacity and a 34 km transmission line will connect the project to the national grid.
In addition to consuming less than 200,000 cubic meters of water annually, the project will lower carbon dioxide emissions by 480 kilotons a year. The project will cost a total of US$162.45. An operational life of more than 30 years is anticipated.
It will guarantee a steady electrical supply to at least 200,000 households with 12 hours of full-load energy storage.
The strategic energy transformation goals of the country have received US$98 million in foreign direct investment thanks to Redstone’s support. Co-shareholders in the project with ACWA Power include the Pele Green Energy, Central Energy Fund, as well as the surrounding community. Advanced precision drives for the project will be provided by Brightsource Energy.
The project will address the gap in the energy supply, decrease dependence on coal, cut carbon emissions, create employment, and support a national solar industry. It will reduce production costs during peak hours and provide South Africa with sustainable energy.