[South Africa] Solafrica Energy pilots new energy storage system to boost capacity of national grid
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency has awarded a grant to Solafrica Energy (Pty) Ltd., a developer of utility-scale solar power plants in Southern Africa, for a pilot project that demonstrates the performance of an energy storage system based on Primus Power Corporation’s (California) EnergyPod2® technology.
The EnergyPod2® is a long-duration energy storage system based on zinc-bromine flow batteries. The pilot will demonstrate the performance of this energy storage system under South Africa’s electric grid conditions at the large-scale energy storage test and demonstration facility of Eskom, South Africa’s national electricity utility.
The pilot will include a series of assessments to determine applications where long-duration energy storage has the greatest value on South Africa’s electric grid and will generate an implementation plan for the deployment of Primus Power’s energy storage systems throughout the country.
Large-scale deployments of energy storage on South Africa’s electric grid will increase the capacity of the grid, support further integration of renewable energy resources, and offset the use of diesel fuel for peaking power and backup power generation.
“USTDA is pleased to support this project that will increase energy storage capacity in South Africa and ultimately expand access to affordable, reliable electricity,” said Lida Fitts, Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Director at USTDA. “The project will display the value and applications of innovative U.S. technologies in a growing and important sector in South Africa.”
“South Africa’s rapid increase in renewable energy integration has introduced challenges related to intermittent power generation,” said Nasi Rwigema, Project Director of Solafrica Energy. “Innovative and cost-effective energy storage solutions will add great value to energy users and electricity network operators alike.”
“As a continent, Africa has the majority of the world’s population without access to reliable electricity,” commented Tom Stepien, CEO of Primus Power. “By commencing this pilot with the support of USTDA, we aim to demonstrate the performance, reliability, durability and cost competitiveness of our EnergyPod2® system and apply it in order to satisfy energy storage needs in South Africa, and additional countries in Africa, for years to come.”
This pilot project was submitted through USTDA’s previous proposal window for energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa. USTDA currently has a new call for initial proposals from energy project sponsors or U.S. companies working in the region.