South African Government working on ‘world class’ battery storage project

News24.com reports that Government intends to sign off soon on a “world class” battery storage project, according to Public Enterprises Minister, Pravin Gordhan.

“We will sign off soon on an important project that Eskom will get involved in, which uses in a large part a loan made by the World Bank to the construction of the Medupi Power Station. And that is the battery storage project. It could become quite an important, world class project when it begin to get off the ground in the next year or so,” Gordhan said. More information will be provided in due course, he added.

BusinessTech in September had reported on the 1.4GwH battery storage project announced during a Webinar by Eskom’s general manager for power delivery engineering Prince Moyo.
Storage technologies, such as battery systems, were punted in the IRP, particularly for the storage of renewable energy.

In South Africa, over six GW of renewable energy has been introduced, but the power system does not have the required “storage capacity or flexibility”, according to the IRP.

“The traditional power delivery model is being disrupted by technological developments related to energy storage, and more renewable energy can be harnessed despite the reality that the timing of its production might be during low-demand periods,” the IRP said of the storage technologies.

The first phase will consist of eight sites that will focus on batteries with 200 megawatts/800 megawatt-hours of capacity to be built by December 2020.

The second phase will consist of 10 sites (or less) 160 megawatts/640 megawatt-hours of capacity by December 2021.

The energy availability of Eskom’s generation fleet is supposed to be as high as 80%, but is currently as low as 69%, and even a 0.1% rise in gross domestic product could result in outages, Nelisiwe Magubane, an Eskom board member said.

According to Eskom battery storage installations will assist in various ways, amongst them capital expenditure deferral on distribution networks, storing energy for discharge at peak times and frequency support

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