Odzani-Mini Hydroelectric
Eskom’s Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme achieves yet another milestone as Unit 2 of the scheme reaches commercial operation, boosting energy supply.

In South Africa, national power utility Eskom declared on Monday that Unit 2 of the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme came into commercial operation becoming the second generator after the power plant’s Unit 4 to have completed all the prerequisite quality assurance tests.

Launched last month by President Jacob Zuma, Ingula’s Unit 4 was the first to come into commercial operation.

Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme nearing completion

Eskom noted via a statement that the commercial operation of these two units mark a key milestone towards the full commercial operation of the entire Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme ahead of the scheduled deadline of mid-2017.

The Group’s CEO Brian Molefe commented: “The commercial operation of Unit 2 will add an extra 333MW into the national, and this will enable us to ensure security of power supply to South African homes and businesses.”

Molefe added: “Besides being a catalyst for economic growth, a stable power supply will also enable Eskom, together with municipalities, to rollout electrification programmes to make life easier for millions of households who currently rely on other fuel sources for domestic cooking and heating.”

Update on remaining units

The power company also gave an update on the two remaining units 1 and 3, stating that the units have also been synchronised to the national grid and are on track for commercial operation within the first half of 2017.

Repairs on Ingula’s Unit 3 are progressing well, and the unit is expected to come into commercial operation in January 2017 as scheduled, the company statement said.

In May 2016, Unit 3, which was the first unit to be synchronised to the grid on 3 March 2016, was reported to have suffered impairment during the test phase after running successfully for a month.

Once completed, all four units of the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme will produce a total of 1,332MW.

According to the electricity company, upon completion Ingula will be Africa’s newest and largest pumped storage scheme, and the 14th largest in the world.