Large-scale solar, battery storage hybrid starts operations in South Africa


A 540 MW solar and 225 MW/1,140 MWh battery storage hybrid project has commenced operations in South Africa. The project, located in the town of Kenhardt in Northern Cape province, has been billed as one of the world’s largest hybrid solar and battery storage facilities in the world.

The facility spans 879 hectares and measures 10 km north to south. Construction began in July 2022 and has seen the installation of almost 1 million PV modules. The battery facility comprises 456 units, each matching the size of a shipping container and weighing 30 tons.

It is owned by Norwegian renewables developer Scatec ASA. The company holds a 51% stake in the $1 billion project, marked as the largest commitment in its history. South African investment company H1 Holdings holds 49%.

Power from the facility will be sold to South African state-owned utility Eskom, under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA). According to a statement from Scatec, the project will deliver 150 MW of dispatchable power from 5 am (SAST) to 9.30 pm year-round to Eskom.

“This is more than just a power plant; it’s a testament to the limitless potential of integrating solar and battery storage to meet the evolving energy needs of today and tomorrow,” said Scatec CEO Terje Pilskog.

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South Africa’s Minister in the Presidency for Electricity, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, said the Northern Cape has the potential to be a central part of the country’s renewable energy complex. He added that provincial and national governments are discussing further investments in the area.

In December 2023, Saudi Arabia's ACWA Power signed a 20-year PPA with Eskom for a 442 MW solar facility with 1,200 MWh of battery storage, also located in Northern Cape province.

In June 2023, Scatec ASA reached financial close on three more solar projects in South Africa, with a total capacity of 273 MW, all located in Western Cape province. Once operational, the projects will deliver energy under a 20-year PPA.

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