»Redstone« CSP plant in South Africa will be supported with ZAR 3 billion by ADB

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (ADB) has approved a senior loan of ZAR 3 billion ($215 million) to the 100 MW »Redstone« concentrated solar power project, which is expected to boost South Africa's energy mix and hasten transition to renewable energy. Located in the Humansrus Solar Park, Northern Cape Province of South Africa, the facility is expected to generate 466 GWh per year. According to the ADB, this will offset diesel-fueled Open Cycle Gas Turbine's (OCGT's) operating at peak demand, thereby avoiding and mitigating carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels. The project will also improve South Africa's power supply and access to energy, and green the energy mix which is currently dominated by coal at 82 percent.
The project comprises a 12-hour molten salt thermal energy storage system, which will enable the project to meet peak electricity demand in the absence of sun, and allow for dispatchability to adapt generation to electricity demand. The project will also involve the construction of a new 132 kV switching station, and a 34 km long single circuit 132 kV transmission line. The »Redstone« plant is aligned with the bank's ten-year strategy, The New Deal for Energy in Africa under the Hi5 Priority to »Light Up and Power Africa«, and the South Africa Country Strategy Paper (CSP 2018-2022), which supports economic transformation for inclusive growth and job creation.
The project has been announced early 2015. A consortium led by US solar project developer Solarreserve LLC and Saudi energy company ACWA Power has been selected by the South Africa Department of Energy (DOE) to develop a 100 MW CSP plant in South Africa's Northern Cape Province. Ten month later, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the US government’s development finance institution, has agreed to provide $400 million in financing for the project.
In April 2018, Solarreserve and ACWA Power announced the companies have signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with Eskom, South Africa’s public electric utility company, for the »Redstone« solar thermal power project. In July 2018, the Central Energy Fund of South Africa and ACWA Power signed an agreement to co-invest in renewable energy projects, including the CSP plant.
The project is one of 27 renewable energy Independent Power Producer projects under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Program (REIPPP). Once commissioned, it is expected to create over 3,500 jobs over the project life cycle.

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