French multinational electric utility company, ENGIE has begun operations the 100MW Kathu Solar Park located in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa.
Considered one of the largest renewable energy projects in the country, the solar park will supply clean energy to 179,000 homes in the province and prevent six million tons of CO2 emissions over the next 20 years, the company said on Wednesday.
Awarded under Round 3.5 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) program, the project forms part of the government’s Integrated Resource Plan which aims to increase the country’s power generation capacity to 86.8GW by 2030.
On the role the plant will play as the country makes a move towards a more renewable energy focused energy mix, Isabelle Kocher, CEO of ENGIE said: “Kathu, with its molten salt storage design, offers a clean solution to overcome the intermittency of renewable energies. We are proud to contribute to the country’s renewable energy goals, and look forward to continuing the projects initiated with local communities making Kathu a genuine driver of regional economic development.”
Kathu Solar Park was constructed by SENER Southern Africa and ACCIONA Industrial. Construction on the project began in 2016.