A Grid-Scale Battery Energy Storage System 2MW (BESS), a first in its kind in Mauritius to enable high capacity storage of renewable energy, was inaugurated yesterday at the Central Electricity Board’s (CEB) Amaury Substation. The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Mr Ivan Collendavelloo, the UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative, Ms Christine N. Umutoni, the Acting General Manager of the CEB, Mr Shamshir Mukoon, and other eminent personalities were present.
Speaking on the occasion, the Deputy Prime Minister commended the tremendous work and efforts of the CEB as regards renewable energy. Government, he said, is committed in its endeavours to modernise the energy sector so as to cater to the needs of the population through various facilities put to their avail. He pointed out that several projects are being implemented with a view to promoting renewable energy in the country.
They comprise the Home Solar Project with the installation of solar photovoltaic systems on rooftops of houses for people at the lower rung; the Henrietta Solar PV Farm aiming to accelerate the integration of renewable energy into the generation mix; the CEB Green Energy Home Solar; the SME Solar project; and additional remuneration from bagasse for small planters.
Mr Collendavelloo also spoke of the installation of solar panels in Agalega while adding that by 2019, 11 utility scale solar farms in Mauritius will be connected to the CEB grid with a total capacity of 99 MW.These projects, he highlighted, are in line with Government’s national target to achieve by 2025 about 35% self-sufficiency in terms of electricity supply through a progressive increase in the use of renewable energies.
With regard to the promotion of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), he recalled his participation in the High Level Meeting in the Seychelles whereby discussions focused on the possibilities of importation, supply, distribution and use of LNG within countries of the Indian Ocean, especially for electricity generation so as to benefit from economies of scale. On this score, he emphasised on the reduction of the country’s dependence on the use of fossil fuel for energy production so as to accelerate its shift to a low-carbon economy.
For her part, Ms Umutoni stated that the BESS project is in line with sustainable development goals (SDG), while referring to SDG 7 which focuses on ensuring access to affordable, reliable and modern energy for everyone. She added that the UNDP will continue to support initiatives that promote the equitable and effective use of resources for a sustainable environment.
As for Mr Mukoon, he underscored that the high-tech and ultra-fast response BESS is the first of a series of upgrades to the electricity grid in order to achieve a smarter electricity network in Mauritius. The objective of the CEB with the installation of the BESS is to strengthen its grid in terms of frequency regulation to support the integration of variable renewable energy projects with its fast reaction time, he added.
Grid-Scale Battery Energy Storage System 2MW
The Grid-ScaleBESS has been financed by the Green Climate Fund under the project Accelerating the transformational shift to a low-carbon economy in the Republic of Mauritius, whereby the CEB is the implementing agency and the UNDP is the supporting one.
The BESS will allow more renewable energy, which are of intermittent nature such as solar and wind, to be on-boarded onto the national grid by carrying out the crucial role of stabilising the frequency and voltage of current supply to home, schools, hospitals, industries amongst others.
The CEB has two BESS installation of 2 MW power output installed at Amaury Substation and Henrietta Substation respectively. Each BESS is made up of two containers of 20ft housing 10 racks of Lithium Ion batteries for a total energy storage of 1.12. All the associated control system, fire protection systems, medium voltage switchgears and step up transformer are housed within the same containers. Other functionalities are voltage control and manual dispatch similar to that of conventional generating units.
Source: Government of Mauritius