Grid constraints hampering roll-out of renewable energy: Ramokgopa

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Electricity Minister Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa says constrains on the national grid are hampering the speed of the roll-out of renewable energy projects in the country.

He was speaking at Kenhardt in the Northern Cape, at the launch of the largest hybrid solar and battery storage project in the world. The project cost around R16 billion.

The rows of solar panels are connected to the largest battery storage in the country. The plant generates more than 1 000 kilowatts per hour or just more than one stage of load shedding.

The Scatec Plant started generating electricity to the national grid in December last year but it’s still not generating at its peak.

The Northern Cape is host to around 60 % of renewable energy projects. With more on the cards, once the grid issues have been sorted out.

“SA is a great market and with second phase coming insvestors will be keen to invest,” says CEO Scatec Terje Pilskog.

More than 2 000 jobs were created during the construction phase of this project while 80 people will be permanently employed for the upkeep of the site.

Another unique feature of this plant is that the solar panels track the sun, generating 20 % more electricity than similar plants. As more renewable energy projects are being constructed, experts believe it will become even more efficient and more important, cheaper for the consumer.

Video: One of the biggest solar plants unveiled in Kenhardt, Northern Cape: