Vametco Hybrid-Mini-Grid

The Vametco project is a first-of-a-kind commercial installation of a Mini-Hybrid solar and battery power plant, grid-feeding directly into the Vametco Mine’s internal electrical network. It is unique in that it has been developed by independent investors and investment banks and is entirely funded outside of the mine’s balance sheet. This project combines a 3.5MW solar PV plant with a 1MW / 4MWh Vanadium Redox Flow Battery to provide a reduction in energy costs, Time of Use arbitrage benefits, Peak Demand Reduction, Power Quality improvements to the Network, and reduction of Reactive Energy charges. The project won Power Project of the Year in the South African National Energy Association (SANEA) awards in 2022, and is currently under construction.

VRFB Project at Eskom

The VRFB was installed at a minigrid at the Eskom Rosherville Energy Storage Test site, in southern Johannesburg. In 2019, the system achieved a peak power of 111 kilowatts ac with a total available energy of 332 kilowatt hours ac. The project was co-developed by Bushveld Energy and the IDC, and it integrated a VRFB, an inverter and a transformer, all of which are connected into an Eskom site-controller that operates the VRFB from an existing SCADA package. The project is drawing to a close due to UET’s bankruptcy and inability to service the battery and honour the maintenance warranty.