NamPower secures US$22m grant from KfW for large-scale electricity storage project

NAMIBIA – Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), the German development agency, has signed a €20 million (US$22.31m) grant agreement with the state-owned Namibia Power Corporation (NamPower) for a large-scale electricity storage project in the Erongo region.

The electricity storage system will be installed in Omburu, a town in Erongo Province. NamPower is expected to contribute 20% of the total cost of the storage project.

The state-owned company will focus on connecting the future storage system to Namibia’s national power grid from the Umburu substation, as well as paying local fees and taxes not covered by the KfW grant.

The financing agreement was signed recently between NamPower’s managing director, Kahenge Haulofu, the director general of Namibia’s National Planning Commission, Obeth Kandjoze, and Barbara Pirich, KfW’s director in Namibia.

NamPower’s project aims to stabilize its grid and, more importantly, provide a back-up solution in case of failures of existing generation facilities, including the aging 120 MW Van Eck thermal power plant, commissioned in 1972 and located in the industrial area north of the capital Windhoek.

The project also aims to reduce the cost of electricity fed through the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP).

Specifically, the batteries will store electricity during off-peak hours, when the price per MWh is low, in order to feed this electricity back into the Namibian grid during peak hours.

More interestingly, the future storage system will add value to renewable energy plants that have intermittent production.

NamPower is building a solar photovoltaic plant in Emburu. With an expected capacity of 20 MWp, the solar park is being built on 20 hectares of land by a consortium formed by Hopsol Africa and Tulive Private Equity.

The facility is expected to provide enough electricity to cover the needs of 20,000 Namibian households.

Early last year, NamPower signed engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contracts for the construction of two solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants with a capacity of 20 MWp each.

Access Aussenkehr Solar One Namibia will build the Khan solar power plant while the joint venture Hopsol Africa and Tulive Private Equity will implement the Omburu solar project in the Erongo region.

The first concerns a photovoltaic solar power plant was to be built on a 16-hectare site in Omburu, a town near the city of Omaruru. The solar power plant was to consist of 33,000 solar panels and 100 inverters.

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