Top 10 Solar Power Plants in Africa

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Africa is at the forefront of renewable energy production. An abundance of renewable energy resources, such as solar photovoltaic (PVs) and concentrated solar power (CSP), have given the resource-rich continent an opportunity to provide utility-scale electricity to the approximately 600 million people who lack access to reliable electricity.

Ouarzazate Solar Power Station

The 580MW Noor Ouarzazate Solar complex, located 10km from Ouarzazate, Morocco, is the largest CSP plant on the continent. The first phase of the $2.5 billion solar power station involved the construction of the 160 MW CSP plant, Noor I, while phase two involved the construction of the 200 MW Noor II CSP plant and the 150 MW Noor III CSP plant. The construction of the 70 MW photovoltaic (PV) Noor IV CSP power plant was undertaken during phase three. The solar power station is projected to offset an estimated 800,000t of CO2 emissions annually.

Benban Solar Project

The Benban Solar PV power station located in Benban, Egypt, has a total capacity of 1.8 GW. The $4 billion project is a complex of 41 solar power plants. Once fully operational, the plant will produce more than 4 TWh of power and prevent two million tons of CO2 emissions a year.

Solar Capital de Aar

De Aar Solar Power is a 175 MW power plant located 6km outside of the town of De Aar in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. The facility generates electricity with 167,580 solar PV panels, which is enough to provide more than 19,000 homes in South Africa with clean, reliable and renewable energy.

Kathu Solar Park

Kathu Solar Park is a 100 MW CSP thermal energy power plant located near Kathu in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. The plant is equipped with a molten salt storage system that allows for 4.5 hours of thermal energy storage. Currently, the project supplies electricity to more than 179,000 homes in South Africa and is estimated to offset six million tons of CO2 emissions over 20 years.

Ilanga Concentrated Solar Power 1

Ilanga Concentrated Solar Power 1 is a 100 MW CSP plant located in Karoshoek, 20km east of Upington in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. The utility project will provide solar-generated thermal electricity and is capable of a yield of more than 320 GW per year. The $11 billion solar plant has provided electricity to more than 80,000 homes in South Africa and is estimated to circumvent 90,000t of CO2 per year over a period of 20 years.

KaXu Solar One

The KaXu Solar One project is the first commercially operated solar thermal electric power plant in South Africa. located near Pofadder in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, the 100 MW solar power plant was commissioned in 2015 and is capable of delivering reliable and clean energy to approximately 80,000 South African households.

Xina Solar One

Xina Solar One is a 100 MW thermo solar power plant located near Pofadder in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. Construction of the project began in 2014 and commissioning work commenced in 2016. The $880 million plant will generate 380 GWh of power per year as part of a 20-year PPA with the country’s state-owned utility company, Eskom. The plant supplies 95,000 South African households with electricity and prevents the emission of up to 348,000t of CO2 per year.

Jasper Solar Power Project

The $260 million Jasper Solar Power Project is a 96 MW solar PV plant located near Kimberly in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. When it came online in October 2014, the plant became the largest solar power installation in Africa. The plant generates 180 GWh of clean, renewable energy and provides over 80,000 homes in South Africa with electricity and is expected to offset 145,981t of CO2 every year.

Kalkbult Solar Plant

The 75 MW Kalbult solar PV plant, situated near Petrusville in the Northern Cape province of South Africa generates 135 GWh of renewable energy per year, providing 33,000 households with electricity and circumventing 115,000t of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

Lesedi Solar PV Project

The 75 MW Lesedi Solar PV project is located in the Northern Cape province of South Africa near the city of Kimberly. The project generates approximately 150,000 MWh of renewable energy and provides electricity to nearly all of the approximately 65,000 households in the area. Equipped with 277,632 PV solar panels, the project is essential for the country to fulfil its commitment to develop 8,400 MW of solar PV energy by 2030.

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Matthew Goosen

Matthew Goosen

Matthew Goosen is a Video Editor and Content Writer at Energy Capital & Power. He holds an Honours Degree in Film and Media Studies at the University of Cape Town and is currently undergoing his Masters Degree. Born in Pretoria and raised internationally, he has been living in Cape Town since 2013.

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