Eternal Energy: How to Leverage the value of Battery Storage beyond Load-Shedding Disruptions


As South Africans, we’ve grown all too familiar with the routine of load-shedding. It’s become as unpredictable as the weather – some days bring brief outages, while others are marred by prolonged power cuts. Many of us have been forced to adapt, regularly checking load-shedding schedules just as we would check a weather forecast and adjusting our daily plans to cater to this new normal.

In response to these erratic power disruptions, many households and businesses have invested in solar panels and battery storage systems. However, there are moments, particularly during reduced load-shedding, when we might question the necessity of these investments. Is the storm of power outages really over? Are our battery systems now redundant?

The short answer is: No.

The Reality of Eskom and Load-Shedding

Once celebrated as a world-class utility provider, Eskom still grapples with significant challenges. Despite its extensive network and historical achievements, Eskom faces a daunting task in maintaining its energy supply across South Africa’s vast and varied landscape while attempting to control its expanding debt.

A critical resource for understanding the extent of these challenges is Eskom’s System Status Report. This weekly publication details the utility’s operational constraints and projected supply risks. Recent analyses paint a stark picture – the current state of load-shedding isn’t a temporary inconvenience; it’s a long-term reality.

The report indicates that improvement is not imminent. Despite the prospective relief that Independent Power Producers (IPPs) hopefully eventually bring and Eskom’s ongoing “philosophy maintenance” to enhance the Energy Availability Factor, the journey towards stable power supply will be slow and fraught with disruptions.

Eskom’s Aging Infrastructure and Future Prospects

It’s alarming to note that some of Eskom’s coal-fired plants are nearly 60 years old; in fact, sections of Komati Power Station were older than 90% of the South African population when it was shut down in 2022. Further, the 2019 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) outlines steps to decommission 10.5 GW of these ageing plants by 2030.

While new renewable energy sources are expected to come online in the coming years, these developments coincide with an anticipated increase in electricity demand driven by economic growth and the emergence of new businesses. Could the increasing demand counteract efforts to stabilise the power supply? Quite likely.

The Strategic Value of Battery Storage

In these circumstances, energy storage becomes not just a short-term solution but a long-term asset. At SustainStorage, we provide state-of-the-art energy storage solutions with an asset lifespan of significantly over ten years. Our comprehensive service guarantees performance for over a decade, ensuring your investment remains valuable even as load-shedding becomes less frequent.

Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) from SustainStorage are not mere stopgaps for power outages. They invest in energy security and cost control, protecting against escalating electricity tariffs. Our unique ten-year total system warranty allows you to leverage your storage asset for additional savings and revenue even as energy costs rise and opportunities evolve.

As more embedded generator tariffs are approved across the country, we anticipate a future where Municipalities and Distributors will indeed procure access to energy storage infrastructure on their network.

Why Choose SustainStorage

Whether you’re seeking a robust backup for the coming years or aiming to capitalise on revenue opportunities post-load-shedding, we offer a variety of battery and inverter combinations to meet your diverse needs. Our solutions range from basic backup systems to advanced configurations for specific safety or performance requirements.

SustainStorage‘s turn-key BESS containers are tailored for commercial and industrial clients. We offer reliable power backup during load-shedding and additional revenue generation with our Energy Management Systems (EMS) integration.

Face the Future with SustainStorage

As we navigate the evolving landscape of South Africa’s power supply, SustainStorage stands at the forefront, offering innovative and adaptable energy storage solutions. We aim to provide you with a system that addresses the challenges of today’s load-shedding and equips you with a more stable and sustainable energy future.

Contact us to future-proof your business.