- EDF Renewables (EDF) has reached financial close on the Umoyilanga Project, a 75MW hybrid renewable power facility to be built in South Africa.
EDF and privately held investment company Perpetua Holdings (Pty) Ltd won the Umoyilanga project bid in the South African Government’s Risk Mitigation IPP Procurement Programme (RMI4P), in March 2021. Construction is now expected to begin with commissioning expected in May 2025.
China Energy Engineering Corporation is appointed EPC for final design, procurement and construction of the 115 MW Avondale PV plant, while Vestas will supply and install 14 x 4.5MW wind turbines at the Dassiesridge site. A wind balance of plant contract has been signed with Power Construction and Adenco Construction and Sungrow Power Supply will supply battery energy storage systems at both sites.
This innovative project combines solar, wind and battery storage technologies to offer dispatchable and reliable power to the national electrical grid. The project will operate as a virtual power plant, combining generation from two sites which are 900 km apart, namely Avondale in the Northern Cape, with 115 MW of solar PV and 30 MW of battery storage, and Dassiesridge in the Eastern Cape, with 63 MW of wind and 45 MW of battery storage.
The unique combination of wind and solar resources with batteries, enables Umoyilanga to provide 75 MW on demand from 05:00 to 21:30 as per the requirements of the PPA, and demonstrates that renewable energy can provide reliable, dispatchable power at a competitive price.
To achieve this, batteries at Dassiesridge will generally charge from the wind energy at night, discharging power in the morning until the sun rises. The solar installation at Avondale will supply the bulk of the energy during the day, supplemented by wind energy from Dassiesridge. Excess solar energy will be used to charge the batteries at Avondale, which will discharge after sunset. A sophisticated energy management system will give instructions to assets across both sites to optimise the power supply in real time, depending on weather forecasts and Eskom’s requirements.The low-carbon electricity produced will help to meet the electricity needs of 120 000 households for 20 years, based on the Eskom residential consumption average of 3 319 kWh/household.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal