Service providers appointed for Eskom battery energy storage initiative

Friday, July 29, 2022

Eskom has appointed two contractors to provide battery storage solutions for the power utility’s flagship Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) which is expected to inject at least 1 440MWh of power to the grid.

This is in line with Eskom’s plans to pursue renewable energy sources and brings to fruition President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of the 500MW BESS initiative which aims to address the country’s electricity crisis.

Eskom chief executive, André de Ruyter, said the development demonstrates the power utility’s determination to find and implement solutions to the energy deficit.

“The project is one of many ways Eskom can partner with various players in finding alternative, innovative and lasting solutions and is also consistent with Eskom’s Just Energy Transition (JET) strategy, and storage is one of the key initiatives to assist in addressing the country’s electricity challenges in the long-term,” de Ruyter said.

According to Eskom the two contractors, Hyosung Heavy Industries and Pinggao Group, will provide designs, supply, installation and maintenance for Eskom over five years.

“The project will be used primarily for national peak shaving (managing demand) purposes for four hours a day for at least 250 days of the year. It will also be used secondarily for ancillary services and local network support. There are also several technical applications and benefits that will be quantifiable over time. Charging of the batteries will take place during off-peak periods or when the network conditions permit,” the power utility said.

Eskom added that the BESS project will be implemented in two phases and is “designed to utilise large scale utility batteries with the capacity of 1 440MWh per day and a 60MW solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity”.

“Phase 1 includes the installation of approximately 199MW additional capacity. With four hours of storage, this equals 833MWh storage of distributed battery storage plants at eight Eskom Distribution substation sites. This phase also includes about 2MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity.

“Phase 2 includes the installation of a total of 144MW which is equivalent to 616MWh at four Eskom Distribution sites and one Transmission site. The solar PV capacity in this phase is 58MW,” Eskom said.

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