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Namibia to up renewable energy, improve transmission network

Date: 07/05/2024

Namibia has been approved for its first-ever World Bank-funded energy project, aimed at improving the reliability of the country's transmission network and integrating renewable energy into the country's electricity system.

 

The $138.5 million project will be implemented by the national electricity utility, NamPower.

The project is structured around three components:

1. Developing the second Auas-Kokerboom transmission line,

2. Developing a utility-scale Battery Energy Storage System facility,

3. Technical assistance activities to support Nam Power develop bankable renewable energy projects and enhance the socio-economic benefits of their projects.

"Namibia is a uniquely positioned regional leader in the transition towards [the] Transmission Expansion and Energy Storage Project [and] a greener and more sustainable future," commented Satu Kahkonen, World Bank Country Director for Namibia.

"This project will support NamPower to develop future renewable energy projects," said Kahkonen.

A strategic investment in Namibia's electricity network

Namibia has excellent renewable energy resources. However, installed renewable capacity in the country is just more than 30% of total generation. This project's investment to strengthen the power grid are critical to enabling the integration of more variable renewable energy sources in the system.

"The line will be key to unlocking increased access to variable renewable energy (VRE) within Namibia, as well as facilitate regional electricity trading. In addition, our second utility-scale battery energy storage system will be developed and integrated in our transmission network to support the development and uptake of renewable energy plants,” says Kahenge Haulofu, NamPower Managing Director.

The project will support the development of a systematic socio-economic framework to support job creation, skills development and female employment during the design and implementation of utility-led projects.

The project aims to minimise outage risks, support load growth and unlock future opportunities for power trade in the Southern African Power Pool.

"This is one of the major strategic and crucial investments towards Namibia's electricity transmission network. NamPower will be able to maintain pace with evolving and increasing electricity needs of the country," said Haulofu.

The grant funding from the IBRD Fund for Innovative Global Public Goods Solutions and the Green Climate Fund will be used for developing the second utility-scale battery storage facility in Namibia. This will further facilitate the integration of large-scale renewable energy in Namibia's generation mix, enabling it to reduce imports, improve grid stability, and help manage its demand peaks.

 

Source: ESI AFRICA

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