Eskom launches massive new battery storage project

 ·10 Nov 2023

Power utility Eskom has unveiled what it has called the largest of its kind Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) project in South Africa

The group officially opened the Hex BESS site at Worcester in the Western Cape on Thursday (9 November), which is the first project to be completed under Eskom’s flagship BESS project announced in July 2022.

The project has specifically been developed to help alleviate the pressure on the national electricity grid, and resolve the ongoing electricity crisis, it said.

The project will add more storage capacity to strengthen the grid while diversifying the existing generation energy mix.

It uses large-scale utility batteries with a total capacity of 1,440MWh per day and a 60MW PV capacity, Eskom said.

“The Hex site is specifically designed to store 100MWh of energy, enough to power a town such as Mossel Bay or Howick for about five hours. It forms part of Phase 1 of Eskom’s BESS project, which includes the installation of approximately 833MWh additional storage capacity at eight Eskom Distribution substation sites in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Northern Cape.

“This phase also includes about 2MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity,” it said.

Upon completion of the first Phase, Eskom will implement Phase 2 of the project, which includes the installation of a further 144MW of storage capacity, equivalent to 616MWh, at four Eskom Distribution
sites and one Transmission site.

The solar PV capacity in this phase will be 58MW.

“The rollout of these technologies together with a disciplined execution of our Generation Recovery Plan which started in March 2023, and aimed at achieving energy availability factor of 70% by end March 2025, will give the country the most needed megawatts to address capacity constraints,” Eskom said.


Read: What Eskom has to sacrifice to cap load shedding at stage 4

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