Solar power in South Africa

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Solar power in South Africa includes photovoltaics (PV) as well as concentrated solar power (CSP). Installed capacity is expected to reach 8,400 MW by 2030, along with 8,400 MW of wind power.[1]

In 2014 several solar farms were commissioned, including the 96 MW Jasper Solar Energy Project, one of Africa's largest photovoltaic power stations providing enough solar power for 30,000 homes.[2]

Plants - operational and projected[edit]

[1] A 50 MW concentrated photovoltaics (CPV) power plant is planned for Touwsrivier, in Western Cape, South Africa.[3] A 75 MW solar power plant started production on September 13, 2013 in Kalkbult, in the Northern Cape (implemented by Scatec). Two other PV plants were completed by the same company in 2014. These are located at Linde in the Northern Cape and Dreunberg in the Eastern Cape, both sun drenched regions boasting some of the best conditions for solar power in the world. Altogether, these 3 plants provide power for around 90,000 South African households.

Sonnedix and Juwi have announced that they will construct an 86 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in the Northern Cape province. The Mulilo Sonnedix plant in Prieska plant will be larger than any PV plant currently on line in the African continent, and was awarded through the third round of the South Africa's Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP). Financial close on the project is targeted for July 2014, with commissioning planned for the second half of 2016.

Iberdrola has completed the Jasper Solar Energy Project solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant, which at 96 MW is the largest in Africa, the company announced. It was carried out in a desert area with extreme temperatures and involved the installation of over 325,000 PV modules. This PV plant is located in Northern Cape province in a remote, semi-desert location. It covers a surface area equivalent to 205 football pitches.

Acciona has put the Sishen solar photovoltaic (PV) plant into service in December 2014. It has a peak capacity of 94.3 megawatts (MWp) – 74 nominal MW – and is located in Dibeng in the Northern Cape province. Its horizontal tracking structures allow the PV panels to capture more radiation by following the sun’s trajectory across the sky. The plant will produce electricity equivalent to the consumption of around 100,000 South African households, or around 420,000 people (2011 South African household size = 3.6 persons).

As of January 2015 a total of 593 MW produced from PV plants were connected to the grid.[4]

A consortium led by ACWA Power International (Saudi Arabia) has completed commissioning of a 50 MW concentrating solar power (CSP) project in South Africa's Northern Cape in Dec-2015. The Bokpoort CSP project includes 9.3 hours of thermal energy storage, which will allow it to meet demand during peak hours between 5 and 9 PM. ACWA describes this system as the largest thermal storage system ever built for a CSP plant of its size and capacity. The South African solar power plant has set a new African record (26 April 2016) for the continuous, round the clock supply of electricity.[5]

Two CSP plants are being built by Abengoa in the Northern Cape. Khi Solar One is a Solar Tower plant of 50 MW capacity near Upington and Kaxu Solar One is a Parabolic Trough plant of 100 MW capacity near Pofadder with storage capability for 3 hours.

Solar Thermal Energy[edit]

The South African government requires renewable energy to replace 10,000 GWh of electricity by 2013. The Department of Energy estimates that 23% of this target can be met through solar water heating and Eskom is therefore actively encouraging consumers to switch to solar water heating.[6]


Growth of Photovoltaics
Year Installations in MWp Production in GWh Ref
Cumulative Capacity Added Capacity
2011 1
2012 41 40
2013 122 81 67
2014 957 800 1183 [7]
2015 965 8 2185 [8][9]
2016 1329 364 2347 [10]
MWp: megawatt-peak, nominal capacity
South African Growth of Photovoltaics
in megawatts since 2011[7]
Growth of CSP
Year Installations in MWp Production in GWh Ref
Cumulative Capacity Added Capacity
2015 100 100 188 [11]
2016 100 100 590 [12]
MWp: megawatt-peak, nominal capacity

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Solar energy in South Africa
  2. ^ "Massive South African solar plant comes online". My Board Band. 11 November 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  3. ^ Soitec funded for 50MW solar power plant in South Africa
  4. ^
  5. ^ ACWA Power (26 Apr 2016). "Bokpoort Generation Record". 
  6. ^ "Solar Water Heating Rebate Programme" (PDF). Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "Snapshot of Global PV 1992-2014" (PDF). International Energy Agency — Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme. 30 March 2015. Archived from the original on 30 March 2015. 
  9. ^ "NERSA". Retrieved 2016-06-27. 
  10. ^ "Monitoring of Renewable Energy Performance 2016". Retrieved 2017-06-03. 
  11. ^ "NERSA". Retrieved 2016-06-27. 
  12. ^ "Monitoring of Renewable Energy Performance 2016". Retrieved 2017-06-03. 

External links[edit]