• Power pockets

    Power pockets

    South Africa’s power utility has unveiled the first of eight planned battery energy storage (BESS) facilities.

    The facility is located at the power utility’s Hex substation near Worcester in the Western Cape, Eskom’s GM of operations enablement, Velaphi Ntuli, told Moneyweb, and will store energy from the grid to be used as back-up when supply is constrained.

    The 20 MW/100 MWh site will be enough to power a small town for five hours, he said, and is part of phase one of Eskom’s BESS initiative

    According to Engineering News, phase one also includes the 80 MW/320 MWh Skaapvlei, the 5 MW/30 MWh Graafwater and the 9.5 MW/45 MWh Paleisheuwel sites, also in the Western Cape; the 8 MW/32 MWh Elandskop and 40 MW/160 MWh Pongola projects, in KwaZulu-Natal; the 1.5 MW/6.16 MWh Rietfontein site, in the Northern Cape; and the 35 MW/140 MWh Melkhout site, in the Eastern Cape.

    The phase one work is being undertaken in a public private partnership with Hyosung and Pinggao, of China, and it is being funded by the World Bank.

    The Rietfontein installation also includes about 2 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity, and Eskom may consider renewable-energy components to BESS projects in future

    14 November 2023
    Image: Freepik