South African electric utility Eskom has officially launched its 100-MWh Hex battery energy storage system (BESS) in Worcester, Western Cape. This marks a significant milestone in Eskom's comprehensive two-phase project aimed at addressing the country's persistent challenges with load shedding.
The Hex BESS is the inaugural deployment under Eskom's ambitious initiative, which involves the installation of utility-scale batteries totaling 1,440 MWh per day and 60 MW of solar power across 12 sites in South Africa.
In the previous year, Eskom selected global partners, South Korea's Hyosung Heavy Industries Corp and China's Pinggao Group, to supply battery storage solutions for all designated sites. These partners are also tasked with operating and maintaining the plants for a duration of five years.
Phase 1 of the project, of which the Hex BESS is a part, includes the installation of 2 MW of solar capacity and approximately 833 MWh of storage across eight Eskom distribution substations in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape, and Northern Cape.
Upon completion of Phase 1, Eskom is poised to commence Phase 2, introducing an additional 616 MWh of storage at four distribution sites and one transmission site, accompanied by 58 MW of solar power capacity.
Eskom emphasized the significance of these technological advancements, aligning with its disciplined execution of the Generation Recovery Plan initiated in March 2023. The plan aims to achieve an energy availability factor of 70% by the end of March 2025, contributing crucial megawatts to address the nation's capacity constraints.