BESS becomes a reality

Germany’s KfW Development Bank, the National Planning Commission and NamPower signed a grant agreement for N$400 million towards the implementation of the first utility scale Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) in Namibia, and the Southern African region at large.
NamPower will contribute around N$100 million to ensure the total project cost of around N$500 million is fully covered.
The BESS plant will assist in peak shifting, energy arbitrage, the provision of emergency energy, ramp-rate and reactive power control amongst others.
The grant funds committed by Germany are earmarked for the construction of a 54 MW / 54 MWh BESS plant that will be situated at the Omburu Substation, located 12 km south-east of Omaruru.
After an elaborate tendering and evaluation process, NamPower signed the EPC contract with Shandong Electrical, Engineering & Equipment Group Co., Ltd and Zhejiang Narada Power Source Co., Ltd JV on 13 December 2023.
Construction work is planned for 18 months and the plant is expected to be operational by mid-2025.
During the EPC award signing ceremony, Ulrike Metzger, Head of German Development Cooperation said that the BESS Project will contribute towards achieving the National Energy Policy target of 80% of the energy requirements from local sources, the Renewable Energy (RE) Policy target of 70% by 2030, which is key in reaching Nationally Determined Climate targets.
Her words were echoed by Beatrice Lucke, Country Director of KfW Development Bank in Namibia, saying that electricity from RE generation as well as electricity imports from the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) can be stored in the BESS which can be used to supply customers during peak times and would offset fossil energy from the aging local Van Eck coal power plant.
From NamPower’s side, MD Kahenge Haulofu said that the electricity grid in Namibia will be stabilised as short and medium-term power fluctuations from RE generation can be load-followed by the storage system. “Given the planned growth of RE, this will ensure a stable power supply in the long term and create good production conditions for future growth and economic development. Thus, the BESS will have a positive impact on the investment climate for Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and contribute to creating new income and employment opportunities and will assist in the overall reduction in the cost of energy to the customer.”