The Namibian government through the National Planning Commission (NPC) and NamPower this week signed a N$400 million grant agreement for the development of the first ever utility scale Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) in Namibia.
A bilateral agreement between Namibia and Germany, via KfW Development Bank, has yielded funding of €20 million towards the implementation of the first ever utility scale Battery Energy Storage System in Namibia, and the Southern African region at large.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Windhoek, Barbara Pirich, the country director for KfW Development Bank indicated that the initiative is part of Namibia’s plans to increase the share of renewable energy in its electricity generation from around 30% to 70% by 2030.
She said they are dedicated to support Namibia through this challenging journey.
“This is quite a challenge and we are honoured and dedicated to support NamPower and the Namibian government on this path of energy transformation and independence,” she explained.
The battery energy storage system is a device that enables generated electricity to be stored and dispatched when required.
“As the project is the first of its kind in southern Africa, it fulfils a pioneering function – it is expected that subsequent projects in the same field will benefit substantially from the experience gained from this project,” she explained.
According to her, this battery project can be described as a flagship project as it will provide one of the largest battery energy storage facilities in the region with a minimum capacity of 58 megawatts.
NamPower managing director, Simson Haulofu, stated that the grant will go towards the construction of a 58MW BESS plant that will be situated at the Omburu substation, located 12km South-east of Omaruru, Erongo region.
He added that it would form part of the strategic initiative of energy storage, in line with the integrated strategic business plan 2020-2025.
Once commissioned, Haulofu indicated that NamPower would be able to utilise a combination of various applications, which were identified during the feasibility study, for the Omburu BESS project.
“These are peak shifting, energy arbitrage, provision of emergency energy, ramp-rate control and reactive power control,” he clarified.
The NPC director general Obeth Kandjoze said the agreement was long overdue as it was initiated seven years ago, hence Namibia is grateful that it is finally sealed.
He said the project will contribute towards achieving the National Energy Policy target by 80% of the energy requirement from local sources by 2023, the renewable energy policy target of 70% by 2030 and will assist in the overall reduction in the cost of energy to the customers. -email@example.com