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South African Solar Plant Sets Records

A South African solar power plant has set a new African record for the continuous, round the clock supply of electricity.

The newly inaugurated 50 MW Bokpoort Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant built and operated by ACWA Power has produced electricity for a continuous period of 161 hours, equivalent to almost six days.

Located in Groblershoop, within the Kheis Municipality in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa, the project’s optimised performance was boosted by its 1,300 MWh molten salt energy storage facility which provides 9.3 hours of thermal storage, the highest on the African continent.

Chief executive Paddy Padmanathan commented: “Round the clock electricity supply from a solar power plant is not only a significant milestone for ACWA Power, but for South Africa and the renewables industry.

“Our goal is to provide power as safely, reliably and efficiently as possible at the lowest possible cost. By applying innovative technology and capturing the natural energy from the sun, this is a breakthrough in the commercial, utility scale use of solar power.”

Alex Lang

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