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1.4GW! South Africa is committed to developing a large number of distributed energy storage projects

2019-04-03

South African state-owned utility company Eskom announced a distributed battery energy storage program at an event dedicated to the development of a total of 1400 MWh of solar energy storage projects.

Last week, Eskom and the African Development Bank Group jointly released the results of the environmental and social management framework of the program. The African Development Bank will work with the World Bank to fund the program.

The coverage of the program covers a wide range of energy storage projects developed in all nine provinces in South Africa. These energy storage projects will be divided into two phases: development and construction.

Eskom will develop an 800 MWh battery energy storage project at various locations along the company's distribution site in the Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Western Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal. These projects are scheduled to be completed in December 2019.

The second stage: development of 60MW distributed solar photovoltaic power generation and 640MWh battery energy storage project. All nine South African provinces have projects to be developed, which are scheduled to be completed in December 2021.

At the same time, the Environmental and Social Management Framework study lists the details of the plan and discusses the social, economic and environmental risks associated with it, makes recommendations and takes appropriate measures to mitigate these risks. As part of the Environmental and Social Management Framework study, Eskom and the South African Environmental Department will be responsible for implementing risk mitigation measures.

However, although Eskom said that the second phase of the process is expected to follow a similar route, the environmental and social management framework study published last week only covers the first phase of the plan, Eskom said that the company's capital and supervisory committee is expected to be in 2019. The second phase of the environmental and social management framework research report was implemented and released before August.

In a range of technical solutions, including thermal energy and mechanical energy storage systems, Eskom determined that electrochemical cells will be "the preferred solution to meet strategic needs." Electrochemical cells are divided into two types: solid-state batteries and flow-through batteries. Solid-state batteries include lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries (market-based projects currently favor the use of lithium-ion batteries, accounting for about 85%), and flow batteries include those made by Japan's NGK Insulators. Manufactured zinc bromine flow battery, vanadium redox and sodium sulfur battery.

Eskom said that a strategic choice has been made for distributed energy storage and photovoltaic project sites. While achieving the planned technical goals and implementation projects, these sites have the least impact on the environment and society. Most of the selected locations are located in Eskom's existing substations, municipal sites, areas around power cables, and surrounding communities that will benefit.

 

The first phase of the project selected a total of 47 sites distributed across four provinces.

According to the Environmental and Social Management Framework study, “The company selected sites based on the technical needs of battery energy storage to support the stability of integrated renewable energy generation and distribution networks.”

“As a result, most sites are located in Eskom's existing substations, wind farms or adjacent municipal sites,” Eskom said. The company also pointed out that there is no need to relocate the population to meet battery project development needs.

South Africa's coal power generation still accounts for more than 60%

At present, South Africa's coal power generation accounts for nearly 70%. Since 1992, with the increase in electricity demand, South Africa's coal consumption has increased by 23%. Biofuels and waste fuels accounted for 10.7%, crude oil was 14.8%, nuclear energy was 2.4%, natural gas was 2.9%, and hydropower was only 0.1%. Solar and wind energy were at the same level, accounting for only 0.1% of energy supply.

Eskom hopes that energy storage can be used by more and more people. Energy storage can better integrate renewable energy and reduce the grid burden during peak demand. Eskom has been experimenting and demonstrating for a period of time in the company's large test facilities.

However, Engineering News reported yesterday that Prince Moyo, a general manager of Eskom, said that the timetable for implementing the plan depends on the internal and internal World Bank approval process and is expected to be released in the first quarter of next year.


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