SolarReserve and ACWA sign PPA for South African 100MW solar thermal project
A consortium, led by the Carlifornia-based SolarReserve and the International Company for Power and Water (ACWA), has signed a 20-year long power purchase agreement (PPA) with Eskom, the South African utility.
The power will be supplied by the Redstone Solar Thermal Power Project, to be located near Postmasburg in the Nothern Cape Province.
The 100MW solar thermal plant will also feature 1,200MWh, or 12 hours, of energy storage – enough to annually power 200,000 homes.
The Redstone Project is the first of its kind on the continent, as it will use SolarReserve’s proprietary ThermaVault™ technology – which features integrated molten salt energy storage.
The South African grid will receive 100MW of non-intermittent energy from the power generating and storage facility, during both the day and night.
The PPA specifies that the project will deliver energy for up to 17 hours to meet demand.
“The Redstone project marks an important technology advancement for South Africa in clean, renewable power,” commented Kevin Smith, CEO of SolarReserve.
“Due to fully integrated thermal energy storage, the facility will provide power on-demand, just like conventional coal, oil, nuclear or natural gas-fired power plants, but without harmful emissions or hazardous materials, and without any fuel cost or foreign exchange risk.”
“We look forward to working with our partners and stakeholders, including the communities where the project is located, to support South Africa in meeting its energy supply targets, stimulating long-term economic development, and creating new jobs and businesses.”
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.