South Africa’s Eskom starts construction of first BESS project

South Africa’s state-owned electric utility Eskom has begun construction of its first battery energy storage system (BESS) project.

Eskom and Hyosung Heavy Industries are developing the 8 MW Elandskop BESS project in KwaZulu-Natal. The batteries on the project site will be charged from the main grid via Eskom’s Elandskop substation. The BESS, which will generate 32 MWh of electricity, will help in managing electricity demand during peak hours thereby maintaining grid stability. The Elandskop BESS is part of Phase 1 of Eskom’s BESS programme, which entails the installation of 199 MW additional capacity, with 833 MWh storage of distributed battery storage plants at eight Eskom distribution substation sites throughout the country, along with 2 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity. Phase 2 will entail the installation of 144 MW of storage capacity at four Eskom distribution sites and one transmission site, along with 58 MW of solar PV capacity. All Phase 1 project sites are planned to be commissioned by June 30, 2023 and Phase 2 by December 2024.