President Ramaphosa to visit the Redstone Solar plant

Monday, October 17, 2022

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to conduct an oversight visit the newly built Redstone Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Tower project in Postmansburg in the Northern Cape.

The visit by the President to the plant on Thursday, forms part of weeklong activities planned ahead of the Presidential Imbizo in Upington on Friday, 21 October 2022.

During that week, government departments will be engaged in various activities in the various local communities as built up activities ahead of the Imbizo.

The 100 MW Redstone Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Tower project forms part of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP).

The project was awarded preferred bidder status in 2015.

The plant, situated in Tsanstabane and Kgatelopele Local Municipalities will supply more than 400 000 people with electricity per day.

According to Infrastructure South Africa, construction of the project is currently at 45.5% completion with operation of the plant expected early in 2024.

To date 31% of procurement spent to date has been mobilised on local content. Employment created to date stands at 972 jobs with 1500 expected at the peak of construction.

The REIPPP at a national level comprises of 92 projects across the country with a collective generation capacity of 6296 MW. The Northern Cape contribution to this is 3563 MW, of which 3249 MW is already operational.

The remaining 314 MW is under construction and the Redstone CSP Plant makes up 100 MW of this generation potential. First synchronisation of the plant is expected in 2023.

The Redstone CSP Plant was presented at the Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium South Africa (SIDSA) in 2020 and forms part of the gazetted Strategic Integrated Project (SIP 8).

The project is expected to operate for a period of 20 years under a Power Purchase Agreement with Eskom.

The CSP thermal plant will supply clean energy to more than 400 000 people per day and over 100 000 households per year.

The project eliminates more than 480 Kilotons of carbon dioxide emissions each year with no harmful emissions or liquid effluent discharge. The total carbon dioxide reduction over the 20-year operations of the project amounts to 10.3 milllion tons.

Furthermore, the project will use less than 200 000 m³ of water per year.

The technology used for the Redstone CSP can essentially be broken down into four key components. These are the solar field, the molten salt receiver, thermal energy storage and the grid connection.

The solar field consists of a circumferential field of sun tracking Heliostats. The Heliostats in the solar field collect solar radiation and concentrate it onto the solar receiver. The molten salt receiver is installed at the top of the 250m tower. The receiver assembly converts solar radiation reflected onto it into thermal energy.

Over the lifetime of the project, R 575 million will be spent towards socio-economic development programmes. –