Photovoltaic Solar Power
The SR Energy team has developed three PV projects in South Africa which have completed construction and are in operation, totalling 246 MW of installed capacity, powering over 200,000 South African homes: the Lesedi, Letsatsi and Jasper Projects.
The Lesedi and Letsatsi Solar Projects, which completed construction and came online in May 2014, are two of the largest project finance transactions ever completed in South Africa and among the largest renewable energy projects in Africa. Lesedi and Letsatsi were recognized as Project Finance International magazine’s 2012 African Renewables Deal of the Year Award.
The Jasper Solar Project, which completed construction and came online in October 2014, produces 17% more electricity than Lesedi and Letsatsi, making Jasper one of the largest solar installations on the continent.
In addition to the environmental benefits to South Africa in helping the country move from a primarily coal based power system to renewables, the three PV projects created thousands of direct jobs during the construction and operations phase, as well as indirect and induced jobs across the supply chain. These three plants combined will power more than 210,000 South African homes and are providing significant long-term economic benefits to the region. All of the projects have set aside a percentage of total project revenues for Enterprise Development and Socio-Economic Development, for the benefit of the local communities. This is a key principle of South Africa’s BBBEE program which seeks to further social economic empowerment of formerly under-privileged individuals, which SR Energy fully supports in our development efforts.
Concentration Solar Power | Solar Power, day and Night
SR Energy has a number of fully developed solar CSP sites that were bid into previous rounds of the REIPPP programme. These sites have been maintained and are bid ready.
Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) technology with molten salt energy storage captures and stores the sun’s power to reliably provide electricity whenever it’s needed most.
Over 10,000 tracking mirrors called heliostats reside in a mechanical solar collection field where they follow the sun throughout the day and reflect and concentrate sunlight onto a large heat exchanger called a receiver that sits atop a central tower.
Within the receiver, fluid flows through the piping that forms the external walls; this fluid absorbs the heat from the concentrated sunlight. The fluid utilized is molten salt, which is heated from 550 ⁰F (288 ⁰C) to 1050 ⁰F (566 ⁰C). Molten salt is an ideal heat capture medium, as it maintains its liquid state even above 1050 ⁰F, allowing the system to operate at low pressure for efficient and safe energy capture and storage.
After passing through the receiver, the high temperature molten salt flows down the piping inside the tower and into an insulated thermal storage tank, where the energy is stored as high–temperature molten salt until electricity is needed. Heat loss is only 1% per day.
The technology leverages liquid molten salt as both the energy collection and the storage mechanism, which allows it to separate energy collection from electricity generation. When electricity is required, day or night, the high-¬temperature molten salt is passed through a steam generation system which in turn is used to drive a conventional power turbine, which generates electricity.
Once the hot salt is used to create steam, the cooled molten salt is then piped back into the cold salt storage tank where it will then flow back up the receiver to be reheated as the process continues.
The steam generation process is identical to the process used in conventional gas, coal or nuclear power plants, except that it is 100 percent renewable with zero harmful emissions or waste. The plants provide on-¬demand, reliable electricity from a renewable source—the sun—even after dark.