Two major solar projects stabilise Eskom electricity grid

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Further alternative solutions for the energy shortage in South Africa are on the horizon. South Africa is a recent recipient of two extremely significant solar projects both of which will add to Eskom’s electricity grid.

Xina Solar One (CSP)

The first project consisted of the construction and operation of a 100 MW greenfield concentrating solar power (CSP) project located in Poffadder in the Northern Cape Province. Project financing agreements from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group and others, will make this one of the largest solar projects in sub-Saharan Africa to date.

Africa’s leading modular building supplier, Kwikspace Modular Buildings (Kwikspace), has supported this extensive project by supplying and constructing a 9.6m x 18m rental flat-pack unit together with a 14m x 15m Parkhome mobile unit for use as on-site office accommodation in record-breaking time.

“What was so crucial for Xina is that their tight deadlines were met. We delivered their 14m wide mobile unit within 4 weeks. The size of this unit was a first in the industry, and with some research and development by our engineers, we were able to provide our client with their required unit. We also delivered and handed over the flat-pack unit within 2 weeks and the client was able to occupy their building straight away. A combination of our historic expertise in the industry and an understanding of our client’s needs has enabled us to meet these turnaround times efficiently,” comments Roberto Campos, Kwikspace Sales Executive.

According to the IFC, the Xina Solar One CSP project, located on the farm Scuit Klip 92, has an estimated total cost of ZAR 9.5 billion.

The solar plant will feed power into the Eskom Paulputs substation located approximately 1 km from the site.

The IFC says that the project company, Xina Solar One (RF) (Pty) Ltd will be a special purpose vehicle and that the plant will sell electricity to Eskom, under a twenty-year power purchase agreement.

TerniEnergia

The second renewable energy project involved the installation of two solar photovoltaic plants (PV) situated in separate, remote locations in the country, for Italy-based TerniEnergia (Italeaf Group). The newly installed PV plants will power homes and businesses at an output of 75 MW and will produce electricity without any hazardous materials or harmful emissions to the environment.

This two phase project was assisted by Kwikspace who transported its mobile CI Parkhome units to the first phase. The load was transported over 600 km from Johannesburg by road, to Tom Burke in the North West province north of Ellisras, near the Botswana border. The second phase of the project involved similar shipping, with site-erect mobile units transported to Palaishewel in the Western Cape, located 185 km outside Cape Town. All of the units were assembled prior to transportation, eliminating the need for on-site manufacturing.

The mobile units provided 600 m2 of office space for the project. Provision was made for a 108 seater kitchen/ diner, meeting rooms, site offices with space for 92 desks, first-aid offices, a guard house, warehousing and a management office. This included all furniture and fittings for staff.

All mobile units were proportionately large and double and single wide in configuration. The single wide units traditionally offer a range of building solutions such as offices, dormitories, ablution facilities, clinics, gate houses and remote site accommodation camps. Double wide units provide double the floor space of the single wide units by joining two separate sections onsite and are ideal for projects of this nature.

“Both these projects were completed within their timeframes. We’re excited to be supporting renewable energy projects that will see a way forward to assisting in South Africa’s energy crisis.”

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