With the completion of the salt melting process at the Kathu solar thermal power plant in South Africa, SENER and Acciona have achieved another important milestone.
The molten salts, which will be used as an efficient and cost-effective alternative of large-scale heat storage system, will enable the generation and dispatchability of clean energy in the absence of solar radiation.
The total number of molten salts reached 45,000 tons while the daily average during the process was 865 tons per day, with the highest peak of smelting per day exceeding 1,000 tons. In addition, the plant uses the newly optimized solar collector technology SENERtrough®-2, designed and patented by SENER, which will guarantee a better efficiency of the solar field.
With an output of 100 MW, the Kathu solar thermal power plant incorporates 1,550 MWh of molten salt energy storage, which will provide 4.5 hours of thermal energy storage for the electricity supply to 179,000 households in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa.
Kathu Solar Park is one of the projects awarded in the 3.5 tender of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPPP) led by the Department of Energy of South Africa (DOE).
SENER and Acciona were appointed by the consortium led by ENGIE to provide engineering, procurement and construction services for the project. Approximately 1,400 jobs have been created during the construction phase. It is estimated that the Kathu solar thermal plant will save six million tons of CO2 over 20 years and promote local economic development in the area through the Kelebogile Trust.
With 29 solar projects in its portfolio, SENER offers technological solutions with the aim of providing reliable and dispatchable electricity at the lowest possible cost, whilst contributing to the social and economic development of the communities and countries where it develops projects.