South Africa Utility firm Eskom has announced a tender for a large scale storage battery for the Skaapvlei substation at Vredendal, in the Western Cape.
The storage battery will help manage power generated from Eskom’s 100 MW Sere wind farm.
The successful bidder will design, build and operate the 80 MW/ 320 MWh storage facility and provide operations and maintenance services for five years. In the tender issued late July, the deadline to submit project proposals is September 11.
World Bank and African Development Bank will support the project construction at a time when Eskom is struggling with frequent power outages. The State utility heavily relies on coal to provide electricity.
The selected developer will be expected to complete the project within a period of seven months or earlier, to a maximum period of nine months, for the design, supply, installation and commissioning of the facility.
But South Africa plans to diversify its energy mix in a move to relinquish over-dependence on coal.
The plan is that by 2030, South Africa’s coal-based generation will have fallen to 33,847MW from its current 39,16MW, while clean energy such as solar, wind and gas will have increased by a total of 330%.
Eskom is specifically considering green funding to offset debt and to re-purpose coal plants.
Battery storage can save fuel costs and reduce grid congestion, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. It can also balance a greater use of renewable sources that provide intermittent power.