South Africa is embarking upon a massive solar park project which one day could be one of the largest of its type in the world. To get there first though, they need to study the potentials of how to develop that. To do so, they’ve contracted with Fluor , a company which focuses upon engineering, procurement, construction, maintenance and operations of complex power generation facilities, to see how it needs to proceed.
The 5-gigawatt solar park, according to Fluor, would be located in the Northern Cape region of the country, which is said to have intense solar radiation potential. The solar park, if completed, “could host proven and emerging solar technologies including photovoltaic (PV), concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) plants and concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies such as power tower and parabolic trough alternatives.” It could also be a massive financial investment, estimated by South Africa’s Department of Energy to be around US$20 billion.
Upon completion of the conceptual study by Fluor, to be unveiled at the upcoming South African Solar Park Investors Conference Oct. 28 and 29, a more detailed design plan will be developed. The very beginnings of this solar park idea come from the recent completion of a pre-feasibility study by the Clinton Climate Initiative, a program of the William J. Clinton Foundation.
Dipuo Peters, South Africa’s Minister of Energy, recently said of this project that “the creation of a Solar Park would present the country with a unique opportunity to become a manufacturing and technology hub for the global solar industry. If South Africa moves quickly, it has an opportunity to become a key manufacturer of solar technology.”
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