South Africa Opens First Solar Thermal Plant

KaXu Solar One launched

IDC, March 3, 2015

South Africa’s first solar thermal electricity plant to reach completion was officially opened near Pofadder in the sparsely populated Northern Cape on Monday, 2 March 2015.

The arid region’s relentless sun is proving to be a valuable renewable natural resource that ultimately will benefit the local community, the country as a whole, and the environment.

KaXu Solar One was opened by Geoffery Qhena, chief executive of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC); Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel; Armando Zuluaga, chief executive of Abengoa Solar; and Fadiel Farao, chairman of the KaXu Community Trust. All are partners in the project.

“It is the result of partners working together. And it has demonstrated South Africa’s capabilities in converting the Northern Cape’s sun into a rich, useable resource,” said Qhena.

KaXu Solar One is the first solar thermal electricity (STE) plant in South Africa. It is also the biggest of its kind in Africa and the southern hemisphere. In opening the plant, Patel said: “Tonight, when ordinary South Africans put on their lights, put on their stoves to cook food, or watch television, some of that electricity would have been generated today near Pofadder.”

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