Tender for Eskom’s big solar project expected later this year

Engineering News 27 May 2013.

The basic design work for Eskom’s 100 MW concentrating solar power (CSP) demonstration project, earmarked for development in the Northern Cape town of Upington, is nearing completion and the prequalification of potential contractors should begin within months.

Proposed is the development of a central-receiver CSP plant, where molten salt is used as a storage and heat-transfer medium. The so-called power tower will be surrounded by an array for heliostats, or mirrors, which continuously reflect sunlight on to the tower’s central receiver.

Tractebel Engineering has been appointed the owner’s engineer on what has been provisionally set down as a R9-billion project, with a more precise capital estimate to emerge only once a tender process has been concluded…

(Contributor’s note: R9 bn for 100MW is VERY steep, that is right at the top of NREL’s estimates in 2011, see http://www.irena.org/DocumentDownloads/Publications/RE_Technologies_Cost_Analysis-CSP.pdf Once again we appear to leaping in to do our own research instead of waiting for the technology to mature and buying off the shelf. I think Eskom loves these projects.)