File photo: Reuters
JOHANNESBURG - Against the backdrop of criticism that renewable energy power could not be relied upon because of its intermittent nature, a consortium led by SolarReserve and Acwa Power last week said that the Redstone Solar Thermal Power Project in the Northern Cape had storage capacity, enabling it to dispatch power during the peak periods.

Redstone was among the 27 independent power producer (IPP) projects that signed 20-year power purchase agreements with Eskom last week.

In the aftermath of the conclusion of the agreements, critics of renewable energy have put under the spotlight its limitations, especially the inability to supply power to Eskom at peak.

SolarReserve last week said that the Redstone project would utilise SolarReserve’s ThermaVault technology, an advanced solar thermal technology with integrated molten salt energy storage.

This, according to the company, would address the intermittency limitations of other renewable energy solutions.

“This key technology will enable the Redstone power station to deliver 100 megawatts of non-intermittent, clean energy to the South African grid, especially during peak periods - day and night.

“As identified under the power purchase agreement, Redstone will deliver continuous electricity to the national grid for up to 17 hours a day in order to meet peak energy demands, as a result of Solar­Reserve’s technology’s ability to store 1200MW/* of energy daily,” the company said.