ACWA Power, the prominent Saudi Arabian developer, investor and operator of power generation and desalinated water plants, and lead shareholder in the Bokpoort concentrated solar power plant, has announced that the Bokpoort CSP plant has become the first renewable facility on the continent to complete a full week of continuous round the clock operation. Bokpoort CSP set the new African continental benchmark achieving 13 days (312 hours) of continuous operations on 23 October 2020, almost double the previous record it had set in March 2016. This was made possible by optimally managing 9.3 hours of the thermal salt storage system overnight, which allowed for a timed transition to the solar field every morning for the entire period.
The 50 MW CSP plant, with thermal storage, was commissioned during the second bidding window of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP) and has been setting consistent records since the commencement of its operation in 2016.
“We take utmost pride in this record-breaking effort that successfully delivered 312 hours of continuous operations, which translate to approximately 13 GWh of energy supply to the grid at an energy load factor of 83%. This is remarkable for a renewable energy facility and is equivalent to about 20 hours of full load operations daily (with a 50 MW turbine) similar to base-load technologies” commented Christo Spammer, Bokpoort CSP CEO.
“This new feat stems from the consistent monthly production records being set by Bokpoort since June 2020. The plant delivered the highest ever production for the months of August and September and has continued to deliver an excellent performance in October 2020, achieving an all-time highest daily record of 1028 MWh earlier this month.”