The U.S. Trade and Development Agency recently awarded a feasibility study grant to Solafrica Photovoltaic Energy (Pty) Ltd. (Solafrica) to support the development of a 100 megawatt (MW) concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in South Africa's Northern Cape province. The feasibility study will determine the cost effectiveness and profitability of bidding, constructing and operating a CSP plant, as well as analyze the most cost effective and appropriate technology for this particular application. The study will provide Solafrica with the necessary development assets to attract financial support for implementing and operating a CSP plant with thermal energy storage capacity.
Solafrica is planning to submit a bid for the CSP plant in the upcoming rounds of South Africa's Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program, which aims to add 17,800 MW of renewable energy generation for South Africa by 2030.
"USTDA is pleased to work with our partners from Solafrica to support South Africa's renewable energy goals," said Director Leocadia I. Zak. "This project presents a valuable opportunity to connect Solafrica with U.S. technologies and services that can meet energy needs in the Northern Cape."
The grant funds for this study come from the U.S.-Africa Clean Energy Finance (US-ACEF) Initiative. US-ACEF is an innovative collaborative financing mechanism aligning U.S. government resources from the USTDA, the Department of State and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation to catalyze private sector investment to develop Africa's clean energy infrastructure.
"We are fortunate and honoured to have a partner in USTDA, their support will go a long way towards developing an innovative and bankable CSP plant in South Africa," said Director Nasi Rwigema. "Our project will further be strengthened by the considerable knowledge and technology base within the U.S."
The opportunity to conduct the USTDA-funded feasibility study will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website. A link to the FBO announcement will be posted to USTDA's website at www.ustda.gov. Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions in the FBO announcement at http://goo.gl/GyYmr3.