Jinko, SMA and Cegasa provide equipment for PV plant with largest lithium-ion battery unit in Bolivia


The largest lithium-ion battery storage system in Bolivia is nearing completion at a co-located solar PV site, with project partners including Jinko, SMA and battery storage provider Cegasa.

Cegasa announced that it was participating in the project last week (12 January) in Cerro San Simon, in the municipality of Baures in the Bolivian portion of the Amazon.

The firm, which is based in Spanish Basque country and manufactures energy storage products for the off-grid, residential and commercial and industrial (C&I) sectors, said it provided the lithium-ion batteries for the energy storage portion of the project, which totals 800kWh.

The attached solar PV array comprises 336 540Wp modules from Jinko, a 140kW inverter from SMA which also provided the battery inverter for the Cegasa battery pack. Jinko and SMA are amongst the largest producers of PV modules and inverters, respectively, in the world.

Although the announcement did not use the term, the project seems likely to be off-grid, with references to the ‘isolated’ area which previously used ‘fossil fuel generators’ that would occasionally only provide two hours of electricity a day.

Cegasa claimed this is the largest lithium-ion energy storage system in the South American country. This is feasible considering a scarcity of announcements – Energy-Storage.news’ reported on a much smaller project a few years ago.

The announcement also didn’t say if the project is already online, but a photo provided and the terminology indicate it is very late-stage.

It added that the battery unit would allow the 160 nearby families to have access to a reserve of electricity during episodes of adverse weather. It will be managed with an ‘intelligent measurement system’ that will optimise the use of the plant remotely.

The Inter-American Development Bank provided BOB10.3 million (US$1.5 million) in funding for the project. The Washington DC-based development bank has recently funded much larger energy storage projects in Guyana and Barbados, covered by Energy-Storage.news.

Other companies that worked on the project include Bolivian firms Sie SA and Mora which provide renewable energy solutions and civil engineering, respectively, and Spain-based TTA which provides consultancy and engineering services.

“At Cegasa we are very happy to contribute to improving access to electricity and quality of supply in isolated areas such as the aforementioned project in Bolivia,” said Ramón Ugarte, commercial director of lithium-ion batteries and systems at Cegasa.

Cegasa has a range of products including its largest unit, the eBick 280 Pro system which ranges from 54kWh to 3MWh and uses lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery cells with a 5,000 cycle lifetime.

Energy-Storage.news’ publisher Solar Media will host the eighth annual Energy Storage Summit EU in London, 22-23 February 2023. This year it is moving to a larger venue, bringing together Europe’s leading investors, policymakers, developers, utilities, energy buyers and service providers all in one place. Visit the official site for more info.

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