South African utility Eskom last week said that it has placed online Unit 4 of the Ingula pumped storage project on the border of the KwaZulu-Natal and Free State provinces.
The company said that Unit 4 is the first of Ingula’s four units to come into commercial operation, adding that the remaining three units have been synchronized to the national grid and are on track for commercial operation within the first half of 2017. Once completed, all four units of the project will produce a total of 1,332 MW, comprising Africa’s largest pumped storage facility.
In a July 28 statement, Eskom Group Chief Executive Brian Molefe said: “The launch of Ingula’s Unit 4 and the synchronization of the other three units is a critical milestone in Eskom’s effort to build new generating capacity to meet South Africa’s rising electricity demand. Once completed in the next five years, our capacity expansion program, which is the largest in the company’s history, will increase our generation capacity by 17,384 MW, transmission lines by 9,756 km and substation capacity by 42,470 MVA.”
Eskom said the Unit 3 is scheduled to come online in January 2017.