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

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

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

The projects will be located at five pre-selected substation sites – Harvard, Leander, Theseus, Everest, and Merapi – located in the Free State province and identified by state-owned utility Eskom. Bids are due by July 31.

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

Developed in line with the 2019 Integrated Resource Plan, the BESIPPP program is aimed at increasing the grid capacity in the Northern Cape area, the country’s largest and most sparsely populated region.

DMRE announced the first bid window in March 2023 calling for 513 MW/2,052 MWh of BESS. The winners were announced in late November. French utility EDF bagged 257 MW of BESS across three projects, while South African renewable energy company Scatec Africa was chosen to develop one 103 MW project.

Now, in its latest announcement, DMRE revealed the fifth winner of the first bid window – South African renewables developer AGV Projects, which will deliver 153 MW of BESS capacity through its Red Sands BESS project.

The second BESIPPP bid window is currently procuring 615 MW/2,460 MWh of BESS projects. Bids are due by June 6.

South Africa’s largest BESS project – a 20 MW/100 MWh Hex system – was switched on last November in Worcester, Western Cape province, to alleviate the pressure on the electricity grid and mitigate load shedding.

The five-hour duration BESS was the first project to be completed under Eskom’s flagship battery storage rollout, which is aiming to deliver 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 aims to help address South Africa’s long-running electricity crisis.

“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,” Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said at the Hex project launch.

This post appeared first on PV Magazine.

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