The South African Department of Mineral Resources and Energy has selected renewable energy development firm Oya Energy as one of the preferred bidders that will develop Africa’s largest hybrid energy project.
Located near Matjiesfontein, the facility will combine solar photovoltaic (PV), wind and lithium-ion battery storage to produce 128 MW of power per year, and will be owned and operated by Oya Energy. The estimated timeline for completion is 18 months.
The Oya Energy Hybrid Facility was selected under South Africa’s Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (RMIPPPP). Cape Town-based project developer G7 Renewable Energies will serve as the developer.
“Lithium batteries are the leading bulk storage technology worldwide. The RMIPPPP also has a particular focus on proven technology, which is why we chose lithium-ion as our storage technology,” said Dr. Killian Hagemann, Co-Founder of G7 Renewable Energies and Director of Oya Energy.
The hybrid plant will transmit power to the grid as and when needed. According to Hagemann, the plant may only dispatch power between 05:00 and 21:30, under government regulations, and excess power will be stored in lithium batteries to supplement wind and PV production during hours of shortfall.
“An advantage of renewable energy hybrid systems lies in their ability to combine two of the fastest growing renewable energy technologies. Hybrid systems can also take advantage of the complementary nature of solar PV, which produces power during the day, and wind, which produces most of its power at night,” added Ntombifuthi Ntuli, CEO of the South African Wind Energy Association.
The RMIPPPP has identified eight projects that are expected to secure financing and work on reducing pressure on the national grid from August 2022. The Program aims to contribute approximately R45 billion (or $2.99 billion) to the economy and procure some 2,000 MW.
The eight preferred bidders include: ACWA Power Project DAO; Karpowership SA Coega; Karpowership SA Richards Bay; Karpowership SA Saldanha; Mulilo Total Coega; Mulilo Total Hydra Storage; Umoyilanga Energy; and Oya Energy Hybrid Facility.