Site visits

Northern Cape Site Visit (OVERNIGHT SITE VISIT)

Opened in March 2016 the Bokpoort CSP plant is the first in Africa equipped with molten salt tanks that provide thermal storage capacity of 9.3 hours. This means that Bokpoort can continue to produce electricity long after the sun has set. In its first month of commercial operation, the plant produced electricity continuously for 161 hours, or more than six days, setting a new record for this technology in Africa.

The plant was built by a joint venture of Spanish companies ACCIONA, SENER and TSK and South Africa’s Crowie. It was developed for ACWA Power, the Saudi group, as an EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) project and required an investment of more than 300 million de euros.

The project is a pioneering facility in the renewables sector for the South African industry, in addition to making an important contribution to the social and economic development of local communities.

The second site visit on Saturday 20 May will showcase the solar power plant at Upington Airport. The plant is designed to deliver over 1 million kilowatt hours of power per annum, to meet the operational needs of the airport. The solar farm is located on 0.66 hectares of land within the airport precinct and uses an 11kV substation – also located on airport land – as its main supply source.

The construction of the plant at Upington Airport started in October 2015 and was completed in April 2016 at a cost of R12.2 million. The solar plant uses 1620 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and 18 inverters to convert solar radiation into electricity. The capacity of the Upington solar plant is 500 kilowatts of peak production per year. The electricity generated by the plant will be distributed to the airport power grid and will help make the airport self-sustaining, from a power perspective.

Delegates will fly to Upington, Northern Cape on Friday 19 May and return to Johannesburg or Cape Town on Saturday 20 May. 

This site visit includes:

- Return flights from Cape Town (option to fly back to Cape Town or Johannesburg)

- Airport transfers on 19 May

- Accommodation in Upington on Friday 19 May

- All transfers to sites

- Meals and soft drinks during the site visit 

- Information pack and expert led tours 

This site visit excludes:

- Any additional airport transfers

- Alcoholic beverages, room service, gratuities and personal expenses 

- Accommodation on 18 May and 20 May

The cost for the Northern Cape site visit is R14 995 or $1100.  

Payment will need to be made before confirming your participation. 

Space is limited and all site visit seats are only confirmed once payment has been received. For more information on this site visit or to book your seat contact – Samantha Petersen ││+27 21 700 3580


Sterrekus substation

Delegates will visit the Eskom Sterrekus substation, commissioned in 2015, and is the final substation in the 1600km 765kV corridor that provides an increase in transfer capacity between Mpumalanga in the north and the Western Cape in the south, of approximately 4,000 MVA. 

The station design includes a 765kV bus-bar reactor that can be reconfigured to act as a line reactor under certain contingencies. The 400kV yard make use of live tank switchgear technology and is also configured in a breaker and a half substation layout. Operating in the substation is done through HMI technology and the protection schemes are based on IEC 61850 communication protocol.

We will then continue to Ankerlig Open Cycle Gas Turbine (OCTG) Power Station located within the industrial area of Atlantis, near Cape Town. Open cycle gas turbines can be fuelled by either natural gas or liquid fuel (kerosene or diesel). The hot, high velocity gas used to turn the turbines is exhausted into the atmosphere. The open cycle gas turbines are relatively environmentally friendly as they have higher efficiency and burn a cleaner fuel (diesel) than Eskom’s coal-fired power station fleet. 

Delegates will learn more about the benefits of using OCTG technology including: 

1. How the technology has been used extensively all over the world and is readily available 

2. How stations can be erected in a lead time of 2 – 3 years as opposed to the larger coal and nuclear stations that require 8 – 10 years lead time 

3. The proven track record of this type of technology


The Biomimicry Genius of Space project is wastewater treatment system designed to find an innovative solution to water pollution in the Berg River. Delegates will get to see the completed aspects of the project including the grey water disposal points and filtration systems in between houses in the pilot area. In addition the tour will cover the other green infrastructure for grey water filtration such as a micro wetland and tree gardens and find out about the different challenges of working in the informal settlement and the other aspects of the project that are still to be built in later phases.

Check out an interview we conducted here

Second site to be confirmed



Nuclear energy currently provides approximately 11% of the world’s electricity and through Koeberg Nuclear Power Station near Cape Town it powers most of the Western Region and supplies approximately 4.4% of South Africa’s total electricity needs. 

On this exclusive site visit delegates will get to see the Emergency Core Cooling System, the Turbine hall, CRF/SEC pump house and the low level waste. This site visit will end with lunch at a wine farm. 



Our first stop will be to Hotel Verde, which is the only hotel in the world to be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental) Platinum certified for their design and construction, as well as their operation. A grey water recycling system saves an average of 6000l a day, making sure drinking water is never flushed and rain water is collected in a 40 000l stainless steel tank in the basement, which feeds their drip irrigation system.

The hotel also has 220 Photovoltaic panels, three wind turbines (vertical axis), regenerative drive elevators, energy generating gym equipment and an energy-saving heating and cooling system coupled to ground source heat pumps. They have a 6 star rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa.

After lunch on a wine farm we will proceed to the beautiful Lourensford Wine Estate located in Somerset West to see their solar PV plant which generates electricity during sunshine hours and feeds this into the grid and is used throughout the Wine Estate. At night the plant goes into stand-by mode.

The solar PV plant operates completely autonomously and requires no intervention by the owner. The plant requires minimal maintenance, and the solar modules are cleaned six times a year to ensure optimal production. These solar modules will still be generating more than 90% of their original nameplate capacity (250Wp) at date of purchase after 20 years.


We will first visit Black River Park which was the first renewable energy project to feed back into the grid and incorporates solar on all viable roof spaces, performance glass and LED lighting in all common areas.  The building is operating 53% more efficiently in energy and 58% with water than the market average.  They have a 1.2 MW photovoltaic solar plant, on-site waste sorting and recycling and on-going storm water quality inspections and management.

After lunch in the Paarl Winelands delegates will visit the Cape Brewing Company which has invested in solar power technology to power its production line enabling them to produce South Africa’s first commercially available “green beer” which uses solar heated water in the brewing process. The solar power system includes 12 m² × 10 m² solar thermal collectors, which transfer heat to a 10,000 litre water storage container through a heat-exchange station.

The project objective was to reduce the brewery’s paraffin fuel costs by a minimum of 50%, while at the same time reducing the manufacturer’s carbon footprint and production costs. This is the first time that the Austrian produced solar thermal panels have been used in Southern Africa.


1. Detailed itineraries will be sent once selection has been made with final departure and return times per site visit 

2. Please ensure if you book a flight out of Cape Town on Friday 19 May it is no earlier than 20:00. 

3. All site visits include the following: 

- Tea/coffee and muffin at registration 

- Refreshments on the bus 

- Light lunch with refreshments 

- All transport to and from the CTICC 

- Site visit pack 

- Expert led tours at the sites 

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