Abengoa and Bushveld Energy Partner in Solar/Vanadium Redox Battery Hybrid for Mine in South Africa

  • Abengoa  Spanish tech solutions company has been selected to construct a hybrid microgrid power plant by the leading vanadium energy storage solutions provider in the African market, Bushveld Energy.
  • The company will be responsible for the engineering, supply and construction of a plant integrated by an energy storage system using Flow Batteries (VRFB BESS), with a capacity of 1MW / 4MWh, and a 3.5 MW solar photovoltaic plant.
  • The plant will be located at Vametco Alloys mine, owned by Bushveld Minerals in the North West province of South Africa and will allow it to increase its energy autonomy.

The VRFB BESS system will be provided by Enerox Holdings Limited, a Bushveld subsidiary.The plant will be the first commercial-scale hybrid project with vanadium flow batteries in the continent and the first ‘MW scale’ hybrid power plant for a mine in South Africa.

The photovoltaic solar plant and the energy storage system will reduce the emissions of more than 114,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere over 20 years, supporting decarbonization in the region. The plant will be able to operate independently or jointly, either as standalone systems or as a fully functional microgrid thanks to Abengoa´s proprietary energy management system (Abengoa Energy Management System, AEMS).

This plant will be the first commercial-scale solar PV/battery hybrid project with vanadium flow batteries in the continent and the first ‘MW scale’ hybrid power plant for a mine in South Africa. Image credit: Abengoa

This project is part of Bushveld’s strategy to develop and promote the role of vanadium in the growing global energy storage market through VRFB BESS, following an overall trend toward long duration storage, as well as to improve the stable power supply on the African continent.

This project is an important milestone for Abengoa, which has installed the world´s largest fleet of thermal energy storage (which exceeds 6,000 MWht), and now is installing the world´s largest hybrid solar plant incorporating vanadium. With such a flagship reference, Abengoa consolidates its global reputation as a one-stop-shop storage provider, with lithium, vanadium and molten salt storage.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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