Scheduled to begin operations in Q4 2023, the CSP Plant will power nearly 200,000 homes


The Redstone CSP plant is expected to begin operations in Q4 2023. (Credit: ACWA Power)

ACWA Power has broken ground on the 100MW Redstone concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in South Africa, having achieved financial close for the ZAR11.6bn ($830m) facility.

According to the Saudi developer, the CSP project has secured financing from major international and South African financial institutions.

The institutions include the African Development Bank (AfDB), Investec Bank, Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), ABSA Bank, Nedbank, Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG), CDC Group, and Sanlam Life Insurance.

The Redstone CSP plant is said to have facilitated foreign direct investment of nearly ZAR7bn ($500m) for financing and supporting South Africa’s strategic energy transition goals.

ACWA Power’s partners in the concentrated solar power project include the Central Energy Fund, Pele Green Energy, and the local community .

The Redstone CSP plant is being constructed in the Humansrus Solar Park, located to the east of Postmasburg in the Northern Cape Province.

The power plant will feature a 12-hour thermal storage system capable of meeting the electricity needs of almost 200,000 households. It will be equipped with SolarReserve’s ThermaVault technology, which will combine solar thermal technology and molten salt energy storage technology.

ACWA Power chief portfolio management officer and acting chief investment officer Rajit Nanda said: “Following in the footsteps of the record-breaking Bokpoort CSP and deploying the same thermal salt storage system, Redstone CSP is set to be yet another ACWA Power flagship project in South Africa that directly benefits households in the area with remarkable plant performance.”

Scheduled to begin operations in Q4 2023, the Redstone CSP facility will offset an estimated 440 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions annually. The project is designed to have an operational life of over 30 years.

ACWA Power president and CEO Paddy Padmanathan said: “Redstone CSP adds another superlative to our budding record in South Africa, being the largest renewable energy investment to date.

“As grid links are improved, the ingenuity of the private sector together with the great support of experienced finance partners has the potential to spark lasting impact for local communities and address the threats of climate change.”

The South African CSP plant will generate over 2,000 construction jobs and nearly 100 permanent direct roles once operational.

In April, the Saudi Arabian company secured $114m financing from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and others for a 200MW solar project in Egypt.