The $800 million Xina Solar One concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in South Africa has successfully completed its first month of commercial operations.

Mott MacDonald, lenders’ technical advisor during the project’s financing and construction stages, says that the 100 MW plant features the largest parabolic trough collector used in a commercial CSP project to date, and is also the first CSP project in South Africa that will benefit from the time of day payment structure.

“This tariff incentivises generation during peak demand hours and will allow the plant to capitalise on the dispatchable energy that CSP technology can offer to the grid,” said Alberto Cuellar, Mott MacDonald’s project manager.

Xina Solar One achieved practical completion in mid-August, according to Abengoa. Located near Pofadder, in Northern Cape Province, Xina includes 5.5 hours of thermal molten salt storage and is expected to generate around 400 GWh of energy per year.

Xina will sell its energy to Eskom under a 20-year power purchase agreement. It was awarded under the third round of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer programme (REIPPP).