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Renewable energy technology developer Abengoa has completed construction of South Africa’s first solar tower.
The 50MW tower named Khi Solar One, is 205 metres tall and will be the first operating in South Africa, alongside Abengoa’s 100MW parabolic trough plant: KaXu Solar One, still under construction in the Northern Cape.
Khi Solar One is a super heated steam solar tower with two hours of thermal storage. Abengoa claims the tower is an innovative breakthrough in CSP technology by using higher temperatures and a more efficient cooling system, based on Abengoa's own research and development work.
The project covers a 600 hectare site in the Northern Cape Province, near Upington.
The project was realised with infrastructure financers the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and community group, Khi Community Trust.
More than 1,400 local construction jobs and 70 permanent operational jobs have been created by Khi Solar One and KaXu Solar One.
Khi Solar One will save 183,000 tonnes of carbon a year, and a total of 498,000 tonnes of carbon will be omitted per year from both towers combined.
The towers aid South Africa’s Department of Energy in its goal to bring 17,800MW online from renewable sources by 2030, as part of South Africa's strategy for energy independence.