World Bank sponsoring Eskom to procure of R14 billion storage capacity
Eskom’s battery energy storage systems (BESS) installation project includes setting up storage capacity across up to eight sites.
The Group Chief Executive Officer (GCE) of South Africa’s state owned power utility, Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd, Andre de Ruyter, this week revealed that they are in the process of procuring R14 billion worth of energy storage capacity to complement the utility’s existing pumped storage capacity.
Speaking to ENCA, De Ruyter said; “ We are in the process of procuring some R14 billion of battery storage capacity under a project sponsored by the World Bank. That project is ongoing. And the reason why we would have to invest in more storage capacity is that renewable energy obviously is only generated when the sun shines and the wind blows – and in order to cater for this lack of predictability you need to have a bigger storage buffer.”
Eskom’s battery energy storage systems (BESS) installation project includes setting up storage capacity across up to eight sites. The utility last year Eskom issued a tender for the design and construction of a 80MW/320MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) to be installed at the Skaapvlei substation at Vredendal, in the Western Cape. The energy storage system will store power generated by the company’s 100MW Sere Wind Farm.
The World Bank is funding Eskom’s energy storage projects under two programmes called the Eskom Investment Support Project (EISP) and Eskom Renewables Support Project (ERSP). The global bank is financing the initiatives in conjunction with other development finance institutions (DFIs) that include the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the African Development Bank, and the New Development Bank.
Eskom, currently South Africa’s top greenhouse gas emitter and the world’s biggest emitter of sulphur dioxide is looking to remodel its business and generate more power from renewable energy sources. The utility is hoping to attract funding from development finance institutions (DFIs) to finance its “Just Energy Transition” strategy ahead of the upcoming COP26 in November. Under the strategy, Eskom will retire much of its coal fired energy generation fleet and replace it with renewable energy and gas generation capacity.