Kenhardt project and battery storage project in South Africa

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Scatec, a company that offers solutions for renewable energy has said they have started making and giving out electricity to the main power system from Kenhardt project and battery storage project in the Northern Cape Province area of South Africa. Scatec says the Kenhardt project is set to make a big change in renewable energy. It will be one of the biggest hybrid solar and battery storage places around the world.

Storage capacity

The plant has 540 MW of solar power added and can store electricity at a rate of 225MW/1,140MWh (BYD ESS). It’s made to give out steady energy amounting to 150 MW every day from early morning until night for the entire year. This was agreed on in deal lasting twenty years

The mixed solar power and battery storage plant combines sun energy with batteries. It beats the problem of unsteady supply from sunlight or wind, also making electricity for houses stronger. The built-in storage can give you power even when there’s very little or no sunlight at all. This makes everything more dependable. Making power and using stored energy when there’s big demand make these plants good for meeting area-wide need of energy during times with lots of use.

The three Kenhardt plants are part of a power-making project in South Africa called Risk Reduction and Independent Power Producer Purchase Programme (RMIPPPP). The main objective of the RMIPPPP is to procure new generation capacity based on:

various ways to make electricity as needed, found in South Africa’s 2019 Integrated Resource Plan.
Cutting down the big use of costly diesel-powered OCGT generators for a medium to long time.

Construction cost

Scatec says the Kenhardt project is its biggest investment. It cost around $1 billion to do it all. The loan money for the project was given by a group of people who lend. This includes The Standard Bank Group as main arranger and British International Investment.

Today, we start an exciting trip into a new time of energy ideas. The Kenhardt project shows not only triumph in technology but also our promise to make the world be good for future generations,” says Terje Pilskog who is boss at Scatec. “This is not just a power plant. It shows how putting solar and battery storage together can provide new energy needs now and in the future.” I wish to praise the Scatec ‘innovators’ for completing this project on time, within budget and with good health, safety environment performance. And thank all partners who have played a big part in our success.”

Jan Fourie, who’s in charge of Sub-Saharan Africa for the company says it is really important. He said “This isn’t only about giving power to homes; we want communities become stronger and do better too.” The Kenhardt project shows how good renewable energy like sunshine can be compared with fossil fuels from deep underground or oil pits on surface

It has been a good experience going from the growth stage to building, and now moving into business use. We can make electricity and help South Africa’s green energy production grow using this new mix of power. That’s what Fourie also says.

When the site was at its busiest, 2,600 workers were used. Many women worked there and this gave flourish to local jobs in that area bringing benefits too for people living nearby. Covering 879 acres and going from north to south for a total of 10 km, building began in July. More than one million PV installations were put up too. The battery area has 456 boxes, all the same size as a cargo container. Each box weighs thirty tonnes. The big project uses over 9,000 kilometers of wire. That’s as long as the distance from Norway to South Africa.

It’s nice to see more big energy storage projects starting in South Africa. Only 2 months ago, Eskom showed another big battery storage project. Eskom’s Hex site is made to save 100MWh of energy, which can give power for around five hours to a town like Mossel Bay or Howick. It’s part of Eskom’s BESS project Phase 1, which involves putting in around 833MWh more storage at eight big substation places. These are all located across KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Northern Cape provinces.

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