The New Development Bank will give Eskom a R6 billion loan to build a massive battery storage system.

The bank made the announcement as part of a release on three projects it was funding: one each in South Africa, Brazil, and Russia.

“The project is primarily aimed at meeting peak electricity demand, increasingly through renewable energy, and avoiding emissions associated with utilization of fossil fuels,” said the bank.

In total, the battery system will comprise 360MW of energy storage at 90 sites in the Western Cape, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal.

At the time of the project’s announcement, it was said that the battery storage infrastructure would be installed in containers at Eskom’s substations.

Eskom said the battery storage system will assist in its plan to increase solar and wind power in its energy mix from the current 7.2% (installed) to 25.6% in 2030 – a 350% increase.


Power delivery

Eskom previously told MyBroadband that the first phase of the project is expected to be completed at the end of 2020, and the second phase at the end of 2021.

It said the benefits of the battery system will include:

  • PV smoothing – solar energy is stored during the day for use at peak times;
  • Wind energy firming – battery storage is used to complement variable wind generation;
  • Energy arbitrage – energy is stored during low generation tariff periods for despatch at high generation tariff periods;
  • Frequency and Voltage support – battery capacity can be used in power mode as a generator;
  • Peak clipping – the discharge of energy during peak times can be used to save costs.