Eskom in South Africa plans to deploy 199MW/832MWh battery energy storage project

South African power grid operator Eskom said a few days ago that it plans to develop and deploy multiple battery energy storage systems with a total scale of 199MW/832MWh. The company is also considering another energy storage project that could be twice as large.

The company recently announced that it plans to develop and deploy a battery energy storage system (BESS) with a total scale of 199MW/832MWh in eight locations in South Africa, and has entered the final stage of negotiating the contract. Eskom said the battery storage systems will provide a four-hour-a-day peak shaving service as well as ancillary services and local support.

April 22, 2022

According to industry media reports, the energy storage projects planned by Eskom are backed by a $58 million loan from the African Development Bank’s Clean Technology Fund. Eskom will own and operate the battery storage systems, while the storage system provider will provide fixed operations and maintenance (O&M) services for five years.

Adam Terry, technical director of Harmattan Renewables, a South African independent power producer (IPP) that is partnering with the company, said this round of deployments could be seen as a kind of pilot, with Harmattan Renewables and Eskom able to sell at a discounted price in Pilot deployment of battery energy storage systems on the grid.

A new round of energy storage project purchases will take place in the coming months, Terry said. The project will also give independent power producers (IPPs) more control than a development bank-funded project in which Eskom sets norms.

He said, “We don’t know the specifics about these, but we expect to see more than 500MW of battery storage systems to be deployed in the coming months. We expect to see more than 500MW of battery storage installed in the coming months. The planning and deployment of these energy storage systems will all be led by independent power producers (IPPs), who look for sites to develop, determine the size, use technology, etc.

Eskom tenders new renewable energy projects through the REIPPPP scheme. Its goal is to add 30GW of clean energy to its grid by 2031, which would boost its share of renewable power generation to more than 40%.

In addition to installing independent energy storage projects, Eskom also deploys energy storage systems in conjunction with renewable energy power generation projects. It is estimated that about 1GW of energy storage systems can enter the grid.

The energy storage system will help alleviate the problem of intermittency in renewable power generation and also help South Africa's grid operators delay investment in electricity infrastructure.

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