Africa’s largest power company, Eskom, has received approval for a $ 57.67 million loan from the African Development Bank to boost power generation from renewable energy.
Dr Daniel Schroth, African Development Bank’s Acting Director for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, said the loan is based on a multi-donor funding program launched in 2011 by major development institutions under the Eskom Renewable Energy Support Project to help Eskom accelerate the development of renewable energy capacity to support long-term carbon mitigation in South Africa.
âIn this regard, the African Development Bank approved the concessional loan in the amount of $ 57.67 million from funds administered by the bank on behalf of the Climate Investment Funds (CIF)â¦. The term of the loan isâ¦ 40 years, âhe said.
Schroth said the loan will fund the Battery Energy System Storage (Bess) project, which includes the design, engineering, supply, construction, installation, testing and commissioning of battery storage infrastructure. distributed to seven sites in Western Cape, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal.
âThe sites are located in Eskom substations located in existing variable renewable energy power plants and on sites for distributed solar PV. The installed capacity is 200 MW of Bess providing four hours of storage, âsaid Schroth.
âThe Bess project will increase the efficiency and reliability of the grid electricity supply from variable renewables through distributable battery energy storage systems and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
âSpecifically, the Bess will allow Eskom to use electricity from renewable energy sources that would otherwise have been wasted, thereby reducing dependence on electricity produced from fossil fuels during peak periods of the demand. ”
Upon commissioning, Eskom will be able to distribute electricity produced from renewable sources that would otherwise be wasted, reducing reliance on fossil fuels during peak hours of the day.
When Eskom was contacted by Daily Maverick, the power company said it was unable to comment because it had not yet made or signed the loan agreement.
âOnce the installation is advanced and completed, Eskom may be in a better position to deliver color,â the response read.
Schroth said the approval by the African Development Bank of the Climate Technology Fund facility shows the bank’s strong commitment to supporting South Africa‘s just energy transition plans, prioritizing investments. into new low-carbon production capacities and new technologies such as battery storage.
“This comes at a critical time as the world prepares for action at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference,” Schroth said.
He added that this large scale battery storage project is the first of its kind in Africa and is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 0.292 million tonnes.
âIt will also inform the deployment of similar projects across the continent. Many African countries are implementing an energy transition as they strive to meet the goals of net zero emissions. ”
Schroth said the project also contributes to South Africa’s ambitious nationally determined contribution, as part of upholding the Paris climate agreement.
âThe $ 5.4 billion Clean Technology Fund promotes low-carbon technologies with significant long-term greenhouse gas reduction potential. The African Development Bank has been an implementing entity of the Climate Investment Funds since 2010, âsaid Schroth. DM / OBP