The annual SolarPACES conference was held in the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 13-16 October this year and STERG was well represented with this conference so close to home. The conference was also attended by local and international delegates from research institutes, governmental bodies, financial institutions and commercial entities in the CSP industry.

The Centre of Renewable Energy Studies, the Helio100 project sponsored by the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) and STERG shared a booth as ‘Stellenbosch University’ at the conference and was an inviting space for conversations about all CSP-related work and research at Stellenbosch University.

Attended by 551 delegates from 38 countries, 43 delegates attended from Stellenbosch University of which the majority were members of STERG or affiliates of the group with about 12 papers presented, several papers co-authored and a further 13 posters presented during poster sessions. These presentations and sessions were an opportunities for STERG members to show their research to a global community and to discuss their ideas about work, design and improvements to be carried out within the CSP industry. A number of posters from STERG members were also presented at the conference during the poster sessions.

The technical tour occurred on Saturday, 17 October, directly after the conference and was attended by about 200 delegates. This tour included a visit to Kirstenbosch botanical gardens in Newlands and a drive through the Cape Winelands to the Helio100 pilot facility near Stellenbosch. The TIA Helio100 project is close to being complete by a team from STERG. The visit to Helio100 was very well received, and although this is a relatively small CSP system, delegates were congratulating the Helio100 team on excellent progress and an enjoyable visit to the facility. Photos of the technical tour are available and also a confirmation of the success of the day.

SolarPACES 2015 was successful in bringing together the global CSP experts community and also new and interested parties. STERG was pleased to have been closely involved in conference, and this year’s conference will certainly be remembered as a contribution towards demonstrating the local potential of CSP to our partners in the technology. Thank you to all STERG members who attended and contributed to the success of the week!