energy and power

South Africa’s Eskom commences construction of Battery Energy Storage

Eskom and Hyosung Heavy Industries have announced the start of the project.

Eskom, South Africa’s national electricity utility company, and Seoul-based Hyosung Heavy Industries, the service providers for the Eskom Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) project, announced the commencement of construction earlier this month.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the project was held at the Elandskop BESS site which is located within the Msunduzi and Impendle Local Municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal province.

Construction of the first energy storage facility at the Elandskop BESS site will take between seven and twelve months. On completion, this storage facility will have an installed capacity of 8 megawatts and the on-site batteries will be charged from the main grid via Eskom’s Elandskop substation.

Groundbreaking ceremony of the Battery Energy Storage Project (@Eskom_SA Twitter Handle)
Groundbreaking ceremony of the Elandskop Battery Energy Storage Project (@Eskom_SA Twitter Handle)

A key benefit of the BESS facility is that it will help boost the electricity transmitted through the network during peak hours, helping reduce the strain from the demand on the network.

Phase 1 of Eskom’s BESS Project includes construction of the Elandskop BESS facility, and the installation of 199 megawatts of power storage capacity with 833-megawatt hour (MWh) of distributed electricity storage at eight Eskom Distribution substation sites throughout the country. This phase also includes 2 megawatts of solar photovoltaic energy capacity.

Phase 2 will see the construction of 144 megawatts of energy storage capacity, the equivalent of 616 MWh, at four Eskom distribution sites and one transmission site. This phase includes 58 megawatts of solar photovoltaic energy capacity.

The project costs approximately R11 billion and will be funded through concessional loans from the World Bank, African Development Bank, and the New Development Bank.

Phase 1 is scheduled to be commissioned by 30 June 2023. Phase 2 is scheduled to be commissioned by December 2024.

The BESS project will use large-scale utility batteries with a generation capacity of 1440 MWh per day and a photovoltaic capacity of 60 megawatt.

“The beginning of the construction of the Elandskop BESS is a positive development in our efforts to alleviate the pressure on the national electricity grid. This is a direct response to the urgent need to address South Africa’s long-running electricity crisis by adding more generation capacity to the grid and also to strengthen the grid by adding more storage and transforming capacity,” said André de Ruyter, Eskom Group Chief Executive.

“Eskom has identified distributed storage as an alternative to support renewable energy expansion in South Africa, and we have taken the necessary steps to ensure the successful implementation of the BESS project,” said Velaphi Ntuli, Eskom’s General Manager: Of distribution, Operations Enablement

Top Photo: Example of Battery Storage Power Station – Tehachapi Energy Storage Project, USA (Sandia National Laboratories | Wikimedia Commons)

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