Large Energy Storage System Commissioned in Germany. NEC Energy Solutions (NEC) in late June said it had commissioned the largest energy storage system in Europe for Germany-based EnspireME, a joint venture between Eneco, a Netherlands-based renewable energy company, and Mitsubishi Corp. Eneco said the 48-MW storage system in Jardelund, Germany, has more than “50 MWh of storage capacity and will generate revenue from the primary reserve market by providing reactive power to stabilize the transmission grid.” NEC provided turnkey engineering, procurement, and construction services, including its GSS end-to-end grid energy storage solution and its AEROS proprietary energy storage controls software. European transmission system operators are required to secure a certain number of capacity reserves to prepare for sudden power loss or an extensive blackout. The storage capacity from the system will be sold to the German electricity market through weekly common auctions, in which European grid operators purchase their required reserve capacity in the primary reserve control market to guarantee the 50-Hz frequency on the grid. The companies said the storage system “can also take over the role of primary reserve provider and become a more sustainable alternative to coal- and gas-fired plants.” Hugo Buis, Eneco’s director of generation and storage, said the project took about eight months to complete. It is housed in a 70-meter by 12-meter building, holding about 10,000 lithium-ion battery modules.
Myanmar Plans for New Generation. An executive with Yangon Electricity Supply Corp. (YESC) said the Yangon Region in Myanmar is expected to require 3,000 MW of electricity by 2021–2022. Daw Su Hlaing Wint, assistant manager of YESC, on June 22 told the Electricity and Energy Expo in Yangon that number represents a doubling of the amount of electricity currently generated across Myanmar. The Yangon region at present consumes about half of Myanmar’s power. Wint estimated that the increase in generation capacity would require about K1 billion ($720,000) of infrastructure, including substations and transmission lines, for each additional MW of electricity generated. The country plans to build 77 66-kV substations over the next four years if money is made available. The government has discussed financing with the Asian Development Bank to upgrade several existing 230-kV substations. It also is replacing older transmission lines and underground cables and installing new transformers at existing substations. The Myanmar Times reported that a YESC official said, “Once the 230-kV grid is completed, we expect to provide more reliable electricity supply in Yangon.” The region currently has five gas-fired power plants. The 106-MW Thaketa combined cycle plant came online in March of this year. Other plants in Yangon include Ahlone (154 MW), Hlawgar (154 MW), Ywama (52 MW), and Thilawa (50 MW).
New Combined Cycle Plant for Bangladesh. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said it would provide a $500 million loan for an 800-MW combined cycle power plant in Khulna, Bangladesh. The money will be used to develop and equip the Rupsha plant, along with connections to a natural gas supply—including the construction of gas pipelines—and connections to the distribution grid. The plant, expected to be completed in summer 2022, will include a 230-kV switchyard and 29 kilometers of high-capacity transmission lines. The facility will also have an advanced water treatment process to purify and recycle liquid waste at the end of the industrial process, resulting in zero discharge. The project’s total cost is estimated at $1.4 billion. The Islamic Development Bank will contribute $300 million in co-financing. The Bangladesh government also has agreed to contribute $338.5 million. ADB will provide $1.5 million in project grant financing from its Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction to improve living standards in nearby communities.
China Financing Zimbabwe Power Expansion. Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa in late June commissioned construction of the Hwange Thermal Power Station expansion project, the second major power development project by China in the southern African country in five years. The project’s cost is estimated at $1.5 billion. Sinohydro, a Chinese power and engineering construction company, will lead the project, which will add two 335-MW generating units. The project has a timeline of about 42 months, which would bring it online by year-end 2022. Hwange, owned by state-run electricity company ZESA Holdings and operated by ZESA subsidiary Zimbabwe Power Co., is the largest power plant in Zimbabwe with installed generation capacity of 920 MW, though it has been operating below capacity in recent years as the plant has aged. The plant, with four 120-MW units and two 220-MW units, came online in stages from 1983 to 1987. The project is designed to modernize the country’s energy infrastructure. “This project is a reflection of our resolve to increase energy and power supply as we quest to become a middle-income economy by 2030,” Mnangagwa said. Sinohydro in March 2018 completed the $533 million expansion of Zimbabwe’s Kariba South Hydro Power Station, which added 300 MW to the country’s grid. ■
—Darrell Proctor is a POWER associate editor.