Massive solar power station in South Africa gives 179 000 homes power! Kathu Solar Park

A massive solar power station has just come online in South Africa and will be supplying 179 000 homes with cleaner energy!

 

Kathu Solar Park is a concentrated solar power (CSP) thermal energy power plant, located near Kathu in the Northern Cape province of South Africa.

The construction started on the 26th of May 2016 and has finally been completed in September 2018. Over 500 jobs were created during the construction phase of Kathu Solar Park and up to 1,200 during peak periods.

It is estimated that the new source of energy will save six million tons of CO2 over the next 20 years and will further promote the local economy for the duration of the project through various ventures such as a local community trust for the benefit of communities in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District Municipality situated in the Northern Cape, and sourcing of other services from local entrepreneurs.

The new power station has a capacity of 100.0 megawatts (MW), and full-load molten storage capacity of 4.5 hours. It covers an area of approximately 800 hectares (1,977 acres) and uses the newest technology to create cleaner energy.

The parabolic trough technology operates by tracking the sun with the parabolic reflectors and focusing the sun’s rays into an absorber pipe. The absorber pipe, which is seated above the mirror along the focal line, contains a heat absorbent medium that absorbs the energy. The heat absorbent material carries energy to water in a boiler heat exchanger and the heat is used to produce steam which drives a turbine.

The Kathu project also has a molten storage system which allows for 4.5 hours of thermal energy storage which helps reduce the effects of irregular sunlight and allows the opportunity to produce electricity even after the sun goes down.

Once completed and fully operational, the Kathu project will reliably be able to supply over 179 000 South African homes with stable electricity during their peak demand periods.


Sources: Kathu Solar Park
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