Midstream Estate has started building its solar farm with battery storage and generator backup to protect households against load-shedding.
Midstream unveiled its energy plan at the Energy Indaba in February 2023 and has made significant progress.
The plan’s vision is to avert load-shedding stages 1 to 3 as a first phase and then progress to avert higher stages of load-shedding.
The final goal is to become energy independent and take the residential estate completely off the grid.
Midstream residents voted overwhelmingly in favour of the plan, with more than 90% pledging their support.
Following the strong support, Midstream Estate started the development of several solar projects which form part of the solar farm.
Six 1MW (2.5MWh capacity) LFP batteries (Lithium Ferrous Phosphate) with associated infrastructure have been ordered at the cost of over R120 million.
Delivery of the batteries is expected in the next four to five months and will be brought into operation soon thereafter.
LFP batteries were selected as they have the edge over lithium-ion batteries, both in cycle life and safety.
The batteries, each to be enclosed in its own 40 feet shipping container, will be placed next to the Eskom Midstream substation.
An intelligent Energy Storage System (iESS), developed by the South African-based Blue Nova, will be coupled to AEG inverters providing a reliable supply system.
Special devices will be coupled to diesel generators allowing them to run in sync with the battery bank to augment the system.
It is a precautionary measure to prepare in case the load in the estate exceeds the combined 6MVA capacity of the batteries.
The development of a 1.5MWp ground-based solar farm, which will augment the 2.5MWp rooftop solar developed, will start soon.
The rooftops of structures in Midstream will be used in conjunction with the PV panels on more than 1,000 houses in Midstream.
The pre-requisite grid code application, required to obtain Eskom’s approval to connect its distribution network before load-shedding, has been submitted.
Pricing is based on consumption during load-shedding and starts at R60 per month for moderate consumption. It increases to R1,350 per month for very heavy use.
The metering software development needed to bill residents for consumption during load-shedding has been completed.
The plan is to have the solar farm with battery storage in operation in the last quarter of this year.