Consortium Launches Solar Plant in S. Africa

Consortium Launches  Solar Plant  in S. AfricaConsortium Launches  Solar Plant  in S. Africa

South Africa and Saudi Arabian ACWA Power launched a $328 million solar power plant in the Northern Cape Province, as Africa's most industrialized country rushes to expand its power supply and cut its coal reliance. The Bokpoort Concentrated Solar Power Project, developed by a consortium led by ACWA Power, is set to provide 1,300 megawatts per hour, powering more than 200,000 homes, a statement from media firm OLB said, Reuters reported. Construction of the plant began in 2013, following a successful bid by ACWA Power, as part of South Africa's plan to expand the use of renewable energy. Chronic energy shortages are pushing the government to seek alternative sources of electricity from state-owned power utility Eskom's coal-powered stations that take much longer to build. With year-round sunshine and thousands of kilometers of windswept coast in South Africa, investors are warming to the renewable energy potential, with 66 projects completed or underway since the government launched a first bid round four years ago.