A 14 MW Grid-Scale Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) was inaugurated at the Jin Fei substation, in Riche Terre, yesterday 16 December 2021. This event was held in presence of the Honourable Georges Pierre Lesjongard, Minister of Energy and Public Utilities; Ms Amanda Serumaga, United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative for Mauritius and Seychelles; Ms Guness-Goolbar, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities; Mr Radakrishna Chellapermal, Chairman of the Central Electricity Board (CEB); Mr Jean Donat, General Manager of the CEB; and Mr Chavan Dabeedin, National Project Director for the GCF project and Renewable Energy and Strategic Projects Manager at the CEB. Employees of the CEB and other stakeholders of the Renewable Energy sector also assisted this inauguration.
The 14 MW Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) is spread over four CEB sub-stations: La Tour Koenig (2MW), Anahita (4MW), Wooton (4MW) and Jin Fei (4MW). According to Mr Chevan Dabeedin, National Project Director, the 14MW BESS has required a Rs 450 million budget, out of which USD 7.5 million - approximately Rs 270 million- were provided via a Green Climate Fund grant, under the umbrella initiative supported by UNDP: ’Accelerating the transformational shift to a low-carbon economy in the Republic of Mauritius project’. Designed to stabilise the electrical grid frequency, the BESS, supplied and installed by SIEMENS France, will contribute to increasing the use green energy in the Republic of Mauritius. In line with the Government’s RE policy, it will also help to reduce the share of fossil fuels on the national energy grid, and to curb greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030.
In his speech, Minister Lesjongard stated that “As announced in the budget, the Green energy would be a new pillar of the economy as 60% of the country’s energy needs will be produced from green sources by 2030”. He acknowledged that the 60% RE target is a great challenge but is convinced that it will be attained. Minister Lesjongard also announced that the BESS is one of numerous green energy projects initiated by the CEB, which also include the CEB RE schemes for public organisations and households.
The UNDP Resident Representative, Ms Serumaga, congratulated the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities and the Central Electricity Board for “driving the decarbonisation process of the electricity sector in Mauritius”. Ms Serumaga added that the UNDP-GCF project will enable the deployment of 25 MW of Renewable Energy in its second phase. According to UNDP Resident Representative, this project meant to democratize access to consumer-based solar powered electricity generation, will “allow low- and middle-income families, public entities and NGO’s, to reduce their electricity bills whilst contributing to the decarbonisation efforts.”
Mr Jean Donat, General Manager of the CEB, stated that the “Era of RE optimization is well on the way”. He added that the recent connections at La Tour Koenig, Anahita, Wootun, and Jin Fei substations, together with already installed substations at Amaury and Henrietta, constitute a national 18 MW Grid-Scale BESS. Mr Donat also mentioned that over 100 MW of solar PV have already been integrated into the grid, and that more projects are on the way to reach”185 MW of intermittent RE into the grid, without jeopardising the grid stability”.