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EDF Renewables reaches financial close on hybrid wind, solar and storage project in South Africa

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EDF Renewables has reached financial and commercial close on a hybrid wind, solar and storage project in South Africa which will provide TSO Eskom with continuous power for 14 hours of the day.

The milestones for the Umoyilanga combined project were reached on 28 November, the renewables developer-operator arm of the France-headquartered international energy firm said today (30 November).

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The two projects are ‘Avondale’ in Northern Cape which pairs 115MW of PV and 30MW of battery energy storage system (BESS) capacity, and ‘Dassiesridge’ in Eastern Cape which combines 63MW of wind and 45MW of BESS. ‘Early works’ have begun and construction will soon, with a commercial operation date (COD) expected around May 2025.

Commercial close has been concluded with South Africa state body the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, which is implementing the projects’ long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with transmission system operator (TSO) Eskom. Financial close meanwhile has been completed with banks Nedbank, RMB and DBSA.

The combination of technologies allows EDF to provide 75MW of power continuously between 5am and 9pm as per the requirements of the PPA. Dassiesridge will charge the BESS from the wind during the night, and discharge power in the morning as the sun rises, while Avondale will provide the bulk of the power during the day. Excess solar in the day will charge the batteries to then provide energy as the sun goes down.

Inverter and BESS manufacturer Sungrow provided the BESS units for both projects, while China Energy Engineering Corporation (CEEC) provided engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services on Avondale with Vestas and Adenco Construction doing the equivalent for Dassiesridge. Sungrow has recently emerged as the largest BESS provider globally by projects completed to-date, according to both Wood Mackenzie and S&P Global.

The project has committed to contributing 40% of its capital expenditure to local content by procuring South African goods and services, as well as 1% of revenues to local communities through socio-economic initiatives.

The project was awarded to EDF Renewables through the RMIPPPP (Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme) framework which has sought to make up for projected shortfalls in future supply and demand in South Africa. Norway-based IPP Scatec is also building projects for the programme.

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