MBABANE,: part of the Australian-German Frazer Solar group – has announced the completion of a binding contract with the Government of Eswatini for the implementation of a EUR 100 million ($115m USD) solar battery project: the Mega Solar-Storage Project, set to be the largest battery project in Africa.
The Mega Solar-Storage Project will be located at the Edwaleni Power Station in Matsapha, Eswatini, and with 100MW of initial capacity and will supply more than 100 million kWh per year to countries within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. The project will also include 75,000 solar panels covering 45 hectares on a total site covering 54 hectares. The benefits of the Mega Solar-Storage Project are many and include helping to reduce load shedding in South Africa and SADC by providing much needed power at peak times. The term of the contract is 40 years.
This large-scale solar-storage project follows Frazium Energy’s successful completion of the largest solar healthcare project in the Kingdom of Eswatini earlier this year. Responding to the acute healthcare needs exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the company delivered 92 solar-powered hotwater units to every governmental medical clinic nationwide, providing free hot running water for medical staff and patients’ use. This project was funded by Frazer Solar with assistance from German government entity KfW-DEG and delivered by Frazium Energy. Speaking about the launch of the new solar-storage project, Robert Frazer, Director of Frazium Energy,said:
“We are so grateful to the Government of Eswatini for their support, confidence, and belief in our vision for this project, and we are so excited for the role we can play in Eswatini’s and Africa’s green energy future. We believe in the strength of Eswatini’s future – not only does this project follow the great success of our solar hot water heaters earlier in the year, but we intend to invest beyond the EUR 100 million already committed for the Mega Solar-Storage Project in the years that come. Africa’s largest battery is coming, and it is coming to Eswatini. The future is not just bright, it is solar-powered.”
Manqoba Khumalo, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade, Government of Eswatini, said: “Frazer Solar has shown again that it is a friend and partner to Eswatini, and a trusted investor and true pioneer in the future of our energy sector. The Mega Solar-Storage Project will provide a real and tangible benefit to all Emaswati, both in the creation of at least 200 new jobs, and in the provision of green, solar power, and dispatchable electricity across the Kingdom and beyond.”
Frazium Energy chose the Kingdom of Eswatini to play host to the Mega Solar-Storage Project following consideration of 11 countries. In 2018, a similar project was anticipated in the Kingdom of Lesotho before the government breached the terms of the binding contract and the project was unable to proceed. Frazer Solar was subsequently awarded damages via an international arbitration process. However, Lesotho’s loss has been Eswatini’s gain.