Umhlathuze Local Municipality

Solafrica Energy has secured a grant from the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) to develop a pilot project that demonstrates the performance of an energy storage system.

The developer of utility-scale solar power plants in Southern Africa will deploy this project in partnership with California-based, Primus Power Corporation.

A press statement explained that the project will use Primus Power Corporation’s EnergyPod2 system to demonstrate the performance of this energy storage system under South Africa’s electric grid conditions at the large-scale energy storage test and demonstration facility of national power utility, Eskom.

Energy storage system project

The pilot will include a series of assessments to determine applications where long-duration energy storage has the greatest value on the national grid and will generate an implementation plan for the deployment of Primus Power’s energy storage systems throughout the country.

Large-scale deployments of energy storage on South Africa’s electric grid will increase the capacity of the grid, support further integration of renewable energy resources, and offset the use of diesel fuel for peaking power and backup power generation, the press statement underlined.

Sub-Saharan Africa regional director at USTDA, Lida Fitts, commented: “USTDA is pleased to support this project that will increase energy storage capacity in South Africa and ultimately expand access to affordable, reliable electricity.” Read more…

“The project will display the value and applications of innovative US technologies in a growing and important sector in South Africa,” Fitts added.

CEO of Primus Power, Tom Stepien also commented: “By commencing this pilot with the support of USTDA, we aim to demonstrate the performance, reliability, durability and cost competitiveness of our EnergyPod2 system and apply it in order to satisfy energy storage needs in South Africa, and additional countries in Africa, for years to come.”

Energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa

This pilot project was submitted through USTDA’s previous proposal window for energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa.

USTDA currently has a new call for initial proposals from energy project sponsors or US companies working in the region.

Interested parties must submit an initial concept paper by 5:00pm Eastern Time on September 25, 2017 and may refer to the USTDA’s full proposal guidelines available on their website.

 

South African flag: Stock images