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Eskom has decided to scrap its plans to construct a 100MW concentrating solar power (CSP) plant near Upington in the Northern Cape because of its costs.

The decision, which has the blessing of the project’s financiers, comes after prolonged uncertainty around the project the Business Report said.

According to Eskom spokesperson, Khulu Phasiwe, the project was too expensive. “That is why we thought it was best to use the money for something else within the renewable energy sector, hence the decision to invest in battery storage. Our funders were happy with that.”

The project, which was one of the utility’s two flag-ship renewable energy projects, was supposed to be completed in December 2014 however; Eskom last year shifted the completion date to the fourth quarter of 2019.

The implementation and construction of the CSP project was being funded through co-financing loans from by the African Development Bank, French development finance institution Agence Française de Développement, multilateral mitigation fund Clean Technology Fund, German development bank KfW and the World Bank.

The utility and the European Investment Bank (EIB) in 2014 signed a R1.1billionfinance contract to support the CSP plant.

Business Report

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