Africa Energy Indaba

Eskom Announces Micro-grid Pilot Success in Ficksburg

  • The micro-grid pilot project provides electricity to 14 households with 81 family members that make up the Wilhelmina community in Ficksburg.
  • The solar Pv system includes lithium ion batteries, totaling 90 Kilowatt Hours of storage.
  • The project sends a strong message that micro-grids will be part of Eskom’s renewable energy mix going forward.

Last Friday, Eskom announced the successful pilot of its first solar-powered micro-grid pilot project at Wilhelmina Farm, Ficksburg in the Free State. The micro-grid demonstration plant which was completed in November last year provides electricity to 14 households with 81 family members that make up the Wilhelmina community.

The plant harnesses solar energy and converts it to a peak of 32 Kilowatt electrical energy via photovoltaic panels and power inverters. The remaining energy from the solar panels is stored in three sets of lithium ion batteries, totalling 90 Kilowatt Hours of storage. This storage facility provides electricity when there is low or no sunlight available to the solar PV panels.

“The project symbolises innovation, growth and development and is consistent with Eskom’s future strategic objectives as micro-grids incorporating renewable and smart energy technologies will play an important role in the future Eskom as an integral part of the business,” explained Nick Singh from Eskom’s Research, Testing and Development Centre.

The project is a close partnership between the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries the community of Wilhelmina farm and the Smart Grid Centre of Excellence of the Eskom’s Research, Testing and Development (RT&D).

The announcement does not specify the metering and billing component implementation.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal 

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