South African electricity public utility company Eskom has reportedly announced the launch of a ground-breaking solar energy microgrid project at the Wilhelmina Farm in the town of Ficksburg.
The project, that was being developed and tested over a 16-month period, attained success in delivering electricity to about 14 households – approximately 81 individuals – of the Wilhelmina community.
According to a press release by the company, the solar plant is capable of harnessing solar energy and converting it into 32 kilowatts of electricity through power inverters and photovoltaic panels. The excess energy generated by the solar panels would be stored in three lithium ion battery sets – approximately 90 Kilowatt Hours of energy storage, making electricity available during night of low sunlight conditions.
The Head of Eskom Research, Testing and Development Centre, Nick Singh stated that the project symbolizes development, growth and innovation and is inline with the company’s future strategic goals. Singh further added that incorporating smart and renewable energy technologies in microgrids would play a crucial role in the company’s future as a fundamental part of the business.
Reportedly, the new ground-breaking microgrid demo facility – which reached completion back in November of 2017 – is one of the first projects to bring energy to the nation’s far-off rural areas.
According to reports, similar renewable energy microgrids that either use wind or solar energy would be deployed across several regions of the nation in coming years. The renewable projects would be specifically targeting less-developed rural areas which are cut-off from the national grid that supply energy to the more-developed areas.
Reliable reports claim, the Wilhelmina farm solar energy demo project was established in a close partnership between the Wilhelmina farm community, Eskom Research, Testing and Development’s Smart Grid Centre of Excellence as well as the Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries, South Africa.
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