Germany’s KfW Development Bank has granted funds worth EUR20 million to Namibia’s government-owned electric utility company, NamPower, for the development of the African country’s first grid-scale battery storage project.
The funding was made available through a bilateral cooperation agreement between the federal German government and the Republic of Namibia. NamPower will contribute around 20 per cent of the total project cost. The funds will be used for the construction of a 58 MW/72 MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) at Omburu substation in western Erongo region. It will be used for peak load shifting, energy arbitrage, emergency backup power provision, ramp-rate control of power plants, and reactive power control. The Omburu BESS will contribute to the expansion of renewable energy in the region by storing locally generated renewable power, as well as electricity imported from the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP), which can charge the battery at cheaper, off-peak times so that the energy can be discharged during peak times. This would also offset the use of energy from the 120 MW Van Eck Power Station, which is Namibia’s only coal-fired power plant.