South Africa’s state-owned utility Eskom has unveiled its Distributed Battery Storage Programme at an event this week, committing to solar-plus-storage and energy storage projects totalling 1,400MWh.
Last week, Eskom released its environmental and social management framework study (ESMF) for the programme, published in conjunction with the African Development Bank Group. The bank will assist the funding for the programme, along with the World Bank.
The wide-ranging plan will see storage deployed across all nine provinces of South Africa, in two phases of development and construction:
Phase 1: 800MWh of battery energy storage will be deployed along distribution sites operated by Eskom in Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Western Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal at various points. These projects are scheduled for completion by December 2019.
Phase 2: 640MWh of battery energy storage will be deployed in combination with 60MW of distributed solar PV. Projects will be deployed across all of the nine South African provinces, scheduled for completion by December 2021.
Meanwhile, the ESMF study lays out details of the plan and discusses the social, economic and environmental risks associated with it, making recommendations and taking appropriate measures to mitigate those risks. Eskom and South African environment authorities will be responsible for implementing the risk mitigation aspects of the ESMF.
The ESMF published last week, however, deals only with Phase 1 of the plan, although Eskom said the process for Phase 2 is expected to be along similar lines. Eskom said it anticipates its Capital and Monitoring Committee (GCIMC) to conduct and publish the Phase 2 ESMF by August 2019.
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