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South Africa Introduces Tender for 616 MW/2,464 MWh Battery Storage

South Africa launches 616 MW/2,464 MWh battery storage tender

The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) of South Africa has initiated the third bid window for its Battery Energy Storage IPP Procurement Programme (BESIPPPP), aimed at procuring a total of 1,744 MW of four-hour battery storage systems. Additionally, the final winner from the first window has been announced.

Under the BESIPPPP, South Africa’s DMRE has commenced the third bid round, inviting proposals for five battery energy storage system (BESS) projects totaling 616MW/2,464MWh.

These projects are earmarked for five pre-selected substation sites – Harvard, Leander, Theseus, Everest, and Merapi – identified by state-owned utility Eskom in the Free State province. The deadline for bids is set for July 31.

The contracted projects must have a minimum duration of four hours and a maximum capacity of 124 MW. Furthermore, assets should maintain a minimum availability of 95% over 8760 hours per contract year.

Aligned with the 2019 Integrated Resource Plan, the BESIPPPP program is focused on bolstering grid capacity in the Northern Cape area, South Africa’s largest and least densely populated region.

South Africa Introduces Tender for 616 MW/2,464 MWh Battery Storage

South Africa Introduces Tender for 616 MW/2,464 MWh Battery Storage (Credits: X)

DMRE initially announced the first bid window in March 2023, seeking proposals for 513 MW/2,052 MWh of BESS. Winners were declared in late November. French utility EDF secured 257 MW of BESS across three projects, while South African renewable energy company Scatec Africa was awarded the development of one 103 MW project.

In its recent update, DMRE disclosed the fifth winner of the first bid window – South African renewables developer AGV Projects, tasked with delivering 153 MW of BESS capacity through its Red Sands BESS project.

The second BESIPPPP bid window is presently soliciting proposals for 615 MW/2,460 MWh of BESS projects, with bids due by June 6.

The largest BESS project in South Africa, a 20 MW/100 MWh Hex system, was activated last November in Worcester, Western Cape province, to alleviate strain on the electricity grid and address load shedding.

This five-hour duration BESS marked the inaugural completion under Eskom’s flagship battery storage rollout, aiming to provide a total of 343 MW/1,449 MWh of BESS capacity and 60 MW of solar across two phases. Announced in July 2022, Eskom’s program is designed to tackle South Africa’s persistent electricity challenges.

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan expressed optimism at the Hex project launch, stating, “If we do more of these kinds of projects in other parts of the country, which is what Eskom intends to do, we will see the end of load shedding pretty soon.”

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