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South Africa opens its biggest solar plant

The new 96 megawatt (MW) photovoltaic solar power project in South Africa’s Northern Cape province is now online and will help the country meet its critical electricity needs.

jasper solar plant

The Jasper plant, near Kimberly, is the largest on the continent and can produce 180 000 megawatt-hours of energy a year for South African residents, enough to power up 80 000 homes.

The project was completed two months ahead of schedule and is fully operational,

The plant uses thousands of mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight onto a central point to generate heat, which in turn is used to generate electricity.

More than 10,000 tracking mirrors called heliostats reside in a 1,500 acre field where they reflect and concentrate sunlight onto a large heat exchanger, called a receiver, which sits atop a 550-foot tower.

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