Norwegian renewable energy independent power producer, Scatec, has this week commissioned the 540 MW Kenhardt solar-storage hybrid power plant in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. The landmark project comes with a battery storage capacity of 225MW/1,140MWh, making it the largest solar-storage hybrid plant on the continent.
Scatec highlighted that the recently commissioned solar-storage facility will deliver 150 MW of dispatchable power from 5 am to 9.30 pm year-round, to South Africa’s national grid under a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with state utility Eskom.
The Kenhardt project, built at a total investment of approximately USD 1 billion, marks the largest commitment in Scatec’s history. The Norwegian power company expects the project to generate solid returns for its shareholders.
Scatec holds 51% of the equity in the project, and H1 Holdings, Scatec’s local Black Economic Empowerment partner owns the remaining 49%.
The project was financed through debt provided by a group of lenders which included the Standard Bank Group as lead arranger, and the British International Investment (BII).
Solar-storage combination to reduce intermittency
“The Kenhardt project symbolises not only a technological triumph but a commitment to shaping a sustainable future,” remarked Terje Pilskog, CEO of Scatec.
“This is more than just a power plant; it’s a testament to the limitless potential of integrating solar and battery storage to meet the evolving energy needs of today and tomorrow. I would like to congratulate the team of Scatec ‘changemakers’ who have delivered this innovative project on schedule, within budget and with good HSSE performance and thank all partners and stakeholders who have been integral to this success,” concluded Pilskog.
A hybrid solar and battery storage plant integrates solar and battery technologies, overcoming intermittency challenges and bolstering grid stability. With the ability to deliver reliable power in low or no sunlight, the integrated storage enhances overall reliability. Dispatchable power production and releasing stored energy during peak demand make these plants ideal for meeting region-wide energy needs during high consumption periods.
Jan Fourie, Scatec’s EVP of Sub-Saharan Africa commented on the project’s commissioning saying; “The Kenhardt project showcases the resilience and reliability of renewable energy, proving it to be a steadfast source of electricity capacity for the grid. Dispatchable renewables are the future.”
“The progression from the development phase through construction, and now reaching the stage of commercial operation, has been a rewarding experience. We are ready to generate electricity and play a vital role in advancing South Africa’s green energy production with this innovative hybrid energy solution,” Fourie concluded.