Abengoa and South Africa’s Department of Energy have signed a power purchase agreement and secured the financing of Xina Solar One. The 100 MW plant features parabolic trough technology with a five-hour thermal energy storage system using molten salts. Total investment for the project will be approximately USD 1 billion. The plant incorporates 5 hours of storage capacity to meet energy demand early and late in the day.
Abengoa has secured the project financing agreement with development financial institutions such as the African Development Bank, the International Finance Corporation, Industrial Development Corporation and the Development Bank of Southern Africa; and local private banks such as RMB, Nedbank and ABSA. Xina Solar One will supply electricity to Eskom, South Africa’s power utility, under a 20-year power purchase agreement.
Construction of Xina Solar One has already begun and the plant will come online in the third quarter of 2017. Job creation will peak at over 1300 during the construction phase, generating 45 permanent jobs for plant operation and maintenance.
Xina Solar One is located close to Pofadder, in the Northern Cape Province, next to KaXu Solar One. These two 100 MW plants will together comprise the largest solar complex in Africa. Xina Solar One will belong to a consortium, 40 % of which is controlled by Abengoa. Other constituents of the consortium are IDC, PIC, and KaXu Community Trust.
This is the third Abengoa project in South Africa, along with Kaxu Solar One (100 MW) and Khi Solar One (50 MW), both in advanced stages of construction. These three projects contribute to South Africa┬┤s goal to introduce up to 17800 MW of renewable energy by 2030 and reduce its dependence on oil and natural gas.