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SEE | This is one of the world’s biggest solar PV, battery projects – in SA’s backyard

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A hybrid photo voltaic and storage challenge in Kenhardt, the Northern Cape has reached monetary shut.

  • A brand new hybrid photo voltaic PV and battery storage facility within the Northern Cape might be one of many world’s largest of its type.
  • The challenge is 10km broad and can embody about two million photo voltaic panels.
  • Its development is predicted to create about 2 000 jobs, and it’s estimated to take 15 months earlier than energy is fed to the grid.
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What is ready to be one of many world’s largest hybrid photo voltaic PV and battery storage services – round 4 instances the scale of Cape City stadium – is because of begin development, and it’s already yielding growth advantages for the small Northern Cape City of Kenhardt.

Renewable vitality developer Scatec, which is headquartered in Norway, on Tuesday reached monetary shut for its three initiatives Kenhardt 1, 2 and three. It has an put in photo voltaic PV capability of 540MW and battery storage capability of 225MW/1 140MWh. It would provide 150MW dispatchable energy to the grid from 05:00 to 21:30 as soon as it’s operational.

Scatec has a 20-year energy buy settlement in place with Eskom.

These initiatives are distinctive in that battery storage addresses the intermittency challenges of renewables – when there isn’t a wind or no sunshine, then no energy is produced.

The initiatives are a part of South Africa’s Threat Mitigation Unbiased Energy Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP), which was launched in August 2020. The programme aimed to acquire about 2 000MW of technology capability to assist tackle the nation’s vitality provide constraints. However it’s been hit by delays, and Scatec’s initiatives are the primary among the many 11 most well-liked bidders that had been named.

The eight remaining initiatives are at various levels of preparation to signal agreements, and developments on this regard are to be introduced in the end, the Division of Mineral Sources and Power stated in a press release.

READ | Main emergency energy challenge reaches monetary shut

Throughout a media briefing on Wednesday, Scatec’s basic supervisor for sub-Saharan Africa operations, Jan Fourie, stated that the challenge has been in growth since 2014. On the time, Scatec was planning for it to be a part of the Renewable Power Unbiased Energy Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).

“By no means in my wildest desires did I believe we might be constructing one of many largest photo voltaic and battery crops on this planet in our personal yard. That is the most important challenge Scatec has ever accomplished. It’s a vital milestone for the corporate,” stated Fourie.

The challenge is 10km broad, back and forth. It would embody about two million photo voltaic PV modules. Building is predicted to take 15 months earlier than energy may be fed to the grid. About 2 000 jobs are anticipated to be created in the course of the development interval.

The project is 10 km wide, side to side.

The challenge is 10 km broad, facet to facet.

Equipped Scatec/ Google Maps

The challenge is Scatec’s largest funding to this point. It is capital expenditure is R16.4 billion and might be financed by Scatec (51%) and its black financial empowerment buyer, H1 Holdings (49%). About R12 billion might be financed by means of debt.

“It’s 4 Cape City stadiums, to place it in perspective,” stated Fourie.

Already there have been growth advantages. Vodacom arrange a tower for permitting communications on the facility and the higher Kenhardt area – an space which beforehand had virtually no sign, stated Fourie.

A Vodacom tower has been installed to allow commun

A Vodacom tower has been put in to permit communications on the facility.

Equipped Scatec

The DMRE famous that native communities and enterprises in and close to Kenhardt will profit by means of R444 million dedicated to provider, enterprise and socioeconomic growth initiatives.

The initiatives additionally decide to 40% native content material throughout its development and operation.

Fourie defined a good portion of the initiatives are domestically sourced, akin to transformers and cables. Photo voltaic PV modules, trackers, and inverters are sourced partially domestically and overseas. The lithium-ion batteries might be imported.

Fourie stated the stalling of the REIPPPP challenge underneath former president Jacob Zuma’s administration decimated the native manufacturing business. “The place we beforehand had 5 – 6 producers, it’s now all the way down to about two.” There are provide chain constraints out there, however Scatec is working with native suppliers to satisfy the native content material necessities.

Fourie additionally famous the worldwide provide chain challenges that drove up costs of renewable vitality elements. He stated that Scatec’s provide chain staff is conscious of the challenges, and there are contingency plans to cope with them. “… We imagine we now have all crucial contingency plans in place to nonetheless meet timelines,” stated Fourie.

As for future challenge prospects within the Northern Cape, Fourie highlighted that the province’s grid capability is at present congested. Scatec, nevertheless, is open to doing standalone battery initiatives within the province.

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