Kathu Solar Park - facts & figures about the plant04/04/2019 (South Africa)
The Kathu Solar Park (South Africa) constructed by SENER and ACCIONA Industrial came into commercial operation on 30 January 2019. With an installed capacity of 100 MW, it will allow clean energy to be supplied to 179,000 homes in the Northern Cape Province and prevent the emission of six million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere over the next 20 years.
It is equipped with a molten salt storage system that allows 4.5 hours of thermal energy storage to extend the operational capacity of the plant after sunset and uses SENERtrough®-2 collectors, a parabolic trough technology, specifically designed and patented by SENER, aimed at improving efficiency of the plant.
The construction of the plant began in May 2016 and created around 1,200 jobs impacting positively the local employment prospects. The project has also contributed to the economic development of the region by contracting local suppliers and through the KSP Social Economic Development programme and the Kelebogile Foundation, thereby significantly boosting community development in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District Municipality. Both SENER and Acciona invested a fund of R29 300 000 towards the solar plant
The project was part of the South African Government’s Integrated Resource Programme (IRP) 2010. The plan aims to increase the country’s power generation capacity to 86.8 GW by 2030, of which 24% will be renewable.
Kathu Solar Park was one of the projects awarded during bid window 3.5 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) by the South African Department of Energy (DoE).
The joint venture between SENER and ACCIONA Industrial was appointed by the shareholders, which is led by ENGIE, including a group of South African investors comprising SIOC Community Development Trust, Investec Bank, Lereko Metier Sustainable Capital Fund, its co-investors FMO, the Dutch development bank and DEG, the German investment and development company and the Public Investment Corporation to provide the engineering, procurement and construction services on the project.
The President of SENER, Jorge Sendagorta, has been awarded the Honorary Member's medal, which is granted by the Spanish Institute of Engineering (Instituto de Ingeniería de España, IIE). This institution decided to give the distinction to Jorge Sendagorta after he was nominated by the Spanish Association of Naval and Ocean Engineers, in recognition of his professional career. According to the institution: “It's a prize to the engineer, but undoubtedly also to the engineering carried out at SENER, which is spearheading Spanish engineering around the world and in the most innovative sectors."[+]