Microgrid solutions with battery energy storage systems are ideal to ensure stable and sustainable power by harnessing solar and other renewable energy resources, says technology solutions provider Hitachi ABB Power Grids.
This, Hitachi ABB Power Grids sub-Saharan Africa MD Malvin Naicker notes, is a powerful model for a clean-energy future and is also a potential answer to load-shedding.
The newly established sub-Saharan Africa Hitachi ABB Power Grids – officially announced on July 1, 2020 – is a joint venture (JV) between multinational conglomerate Hitachi and global technology provider ABB.
Naicker explains that the JV has brought together two “highly respected companies” to create a new global power leader.
“The beauty of off-grid solutions is that they can be integrated with a range of conventional electricity sources, allowing for uninterrupted, efficient and clean supply of power. Even though coal will continue to play a significant role in South Africa’s electricity generation, the country can still leverage the massive opportunity of distributed energy resources.”
Further, he advances that ABB’s e-mesh solution offers an end-to-end distributed energy solution, combining advanced analytics, software technology, and hardware systems, to improve reliability and enhance demand planning and generation forecasting by monitoring and controlling the performance of these off-grid systems.
“This end-to-end solution covers the entire distributed energy ecosystem, ensuring a safe and reliable supply of power,” adds Naicker.
Technological progress supporting off-grid electricity systems can facilitate enough electrical capacity for productive higher-tier uses at a significantly lower cost. It can also create thousands of jobs that can further increase electricity uptake.
“With the population soaring and climate change concerns becoming a common denominator for all industrial and commercial activities, South Africa must be more proactive in the adoption and roll-out of smart power technologies. These technologies must help the country plug the demand and supply gap and accelerate its economic growth momentum,” highlights Naicker.
Moreover, in his State of the Nation Address on February 12, 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that State-owned power utility Eskom’s capacity will be increased through renewable energy, natural gas and hydropower, as well as coal and battery storage.
Therefore, Hitachi ABB combines Hitachi’s leading digital technologies with ABB Power Grids’ world-class power grid solutions to help the JV play an active role in the global transformation and decarbonisation of energy systems for a sustainable energy future, Naicker points out.
“Additionally, these intelligent solutions for a more dynamic grid will also contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 7 of affordable, reliable and clean energy,” he concludes.