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Eskom has awarded contracts to Hyosung Heavy Industries and Pinggao Group for the provision of battery storage solutions in terms of its Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) project

AdobeStock 459340696The battery storage sites are strategically situated at remote areas with limited access to distribution networks, but close to renewable independent power producers’ (IPPs) plants. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

The contract is for design, supply and installation as well as operating and maintenance for a five-year period which is the first part of the 500MW BESS initiative announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa as part of the government’s measures to address South Africa’s long-running electricity crisis.

The Eskom BESS project will act as a proof of concept on the delivery of the first battery energy storage project in South Africa. The project supports transformational aspects by demonstrating large-scale deployment in support of South Africa’s renewable energy strategy and addresses local overall system challenges.

It is envisioned that gains from the BESS project will help to alleviate the pressure on the national electricity grid. The project will be used primarily for national peak shaving 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. 

The project is designed to utilise large scale utility batteries with the capacity of 1,440MWh per day and a 60MW solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity to be implemented in two phases.

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.

All Phase 1 sites are planned to be commissioned by 30 June 2023 and Phase 2 by December 2024.