Lekela appoints DNV to study potential for grid-scale battery storage system in Senegal

PETNLekela has appointed DNV, an independent expert in assurance and risk management, as a contractor to perform a feasibility study for West Africa’s largest grid-scale battery electric storage system (BESS)

The study will focus on how to provide increased grid stability and integrate intermittent renewable energy into Senelec’s electricity grid. It is being funded through a grant provided by the US Trade and Development Association (USTDA).

The proposed 40MW battery will provide 175MWh of energy, making it one of the largest of its kind in Africa. The battery will be located at Lekela’s 158.7MW Parc Eolien Taiba N’Diaye (PETN) project, itself the first utility-scale wind farm in Senegal. The project is part of the Senegalese government’s efforts to make its energy supply both more diverse and sustainable.

It will help to stabilise the production of renewable energy, which will soon represent 25% of the total electricity generation capacity in Senegal. It will also provide additional services such as frequency regulation and reactive power support.

When fully charged, the battery will be able to discharge its fully rated 40MW capacity for more than four hours. It will consist of approximately 45 40-foot (21m) shipping containers and will be located adjacent to the wind farm. Senelec, the national utility of Senegal, will dispatch the BESS once it comes online.

Chris Antonopoulos, CEO of Lekela, said, “It feels incredibly exciting to be progressing on such an innovative project for Senegal. If successful, this battery will further the aim to provide clean, stable power to millions of Senegalese. Access to reliable, affordable energy will be critical to fuelling economic growth and energising a sustainable future for Senegal’s people.”

As part of the contract, DNV will assist Lekela in developing the technical specifications for the BESS to ensure a successful technical solution that will provide services on the grid for its operational life, which may be up to 20 years. Additionally, DNV will be involved in Lekela’s negotiation of the offtake agreement with Senelec, which is the first such contract of its type for energy storage in Senegal. It’s anticipated that construction of the BESS will begin in 2022.

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