Fluor to study Northern Cape's solar potential

After having recently completed a pre-feasibility study by the Clinton Climate Initiative, Fluor will now develop a more detailed conceptual master plan that will be unveiled at the upcoming South African Solar Park Investors Conference end of October in Upington, Northern Cape Province of South Africa.

The proposed five gigawatt solar park will be one of the largest proposed solar parks in the continent. Upon completion of the conceptual study, a more detailed design plan will be developed. The South Africa Department of Energy intends to establish a Solar Park Authority as a unit within the state-owned Central Energy Fund to facilitate the advancement of the project. The solar park could host proven and emerging solar technologies including photovoltaic, concentrated photovoltaic plants and concentrating solar power technologies such as power tower and parabolic trough alternatives. When fully developed, the five gigawatt solar park could realize a total investment of more than US$20 billion according to the Department of Energy.

Dave Dunning, president of Fluor’s Power Group stated in a press release by the company, "We are closely collaborating with South Africa’s Department of Energy and the Clinton Climate Initiative on this potential flagship solar power development. Our company has a strong track record of achievement in South Africa. Just last month, Fluor commemorated its 50-year anniversary of ongoing capital project development in South Africa, and we hope to bring this clean energy initiative to fruition." The Northern Cape has one of the lowest population densities (2.9 persons per square kilometer) due to its sheer size, which is slightly larger than Germany. The north of the province is primarily defined by the Kalahari desert.