French electric utility company – Engie has announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire from Spain’s Abengoa a 40% equity stake in Xina Solar One, a 100 MW Concentrated Solar plant, in the Northern Cape of South Africa; as well as 46% of the Operations & Maintenance Company.
As per the agreement, the power is contracted through a 20 years Power Purchase Agreement with Eskom (South African Electricity Public Utility).
The plant is equipped with parabolic trough technology and a molten salt storage system that allows for 5.5 hours of energy storage to provide reliable electricity during peak demand.
“With the acquisition of this project, ENGIE is pursuing its low carbon strategy. Xina augments the country’s installed peaking power and reduces its dependence on coal-fired electricity. The 100 MW CSP plant also contributes to ENGIE’s geographic rationalization by expanding its footprint in South Africa, where it is the leading Independent Power Producer with 1,320 MW of installed capacity,” says Sébastien Arbola, CEO of ENGIE MESCATA.
The farm situated in South Africa's Northern Cape is also home to ENGIE's 100 MW Kathu CSP plant. The addition of Xina Solar One to ENGIE's renewable energy portfolio strengthens the company's status as the country's leading independent power producer. To improve the operational efficiency of both plants, synergies between Xina and Kathu will be created.
Commenting on the agreement, Mohamed Hoosen, CEO of ENGIE Southern Africa mentioned: “ENGIE is valued as a highly-skilled IPP and a long-term player in the South African power industry. We are adding an innovative high-performing plant and are increasing our CSP capacity. This investment will create value over the long term while accelerating impact on the energy transition of our customers.”
Xina Solar One is supplying clean energy to more than 95,000 South African households and prevents the emission into the atmosphere of approximately 348,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year.