USTDA Supports Energy Storage in South Africa, Creating Opportunities for U.S. Businesses

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA – The U.S. Trade and Development Agency awarded a grant to Bushveld Energy Company (Pty) Ltd, a South African energy storage solutions company, for a pilot project to demonstrate the performance of an energy storage system in South Africa using technology from UniEnergy Technologies, LLC of Mukilteo, WA.  

The goal of the pilot is to demonstrate how UniEnergy’s vanadium redox flow battery technology can reduce energy costs for commercial and industrial operations, offset the need to use diesel and other fossil fuels for peaking power, increase the capacity of South Africa’s electric grid to successfully integrate renewable electricity generation sources, and improve the operating efficiently of existing baseload plants.

“USTDA is pleased to support this pilot that will help establish the use cases for energy storage and improve access to affordable and reliable electricity in South Africa,” said Paul Marin, USTDA’s Acting Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa.  “This pilot will also highlight the value of innovative U.S. technologies in a growing sector in South Africa.”

“Projects and technologies under USTDA’s program undergo significant vetting, making this grant award a show of confidence,” said Mikhail Nikomarov, CEO of Bushveld Energy.  “The VRFB to be piloted with Eskom and the additional work that will be done thanks to USTDA’s support will provide data and build the capabilities of our team in deploying these batteries not just with Eskom but also municipal power systems in South Africa and across the continent.”

Jessye Lapenn, Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Mission in South Africa, signed the grant on behalf of USTDA along with Mr. Nikomarov at a ceremony at the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa.