On 30 August 2023, G7 Renewable Energies announced that the Oya Energy Hybrid Dispatchable Facility (Oya Energy) reached legal close in South Africa’s Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP). Oya Energy (Pty) Ltd signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with South African state utility Eskom and an Implementation Agreement with the country’s Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE). Once operational, Oya will provide much-needed dispatchable energy and capacity to the South African grid.

Developed by G7 Renewable Energies and ENGIE, with empowerment partners Meadows Energy and Perpetua, the 128MW Oya Energy Facility in the Karoo was awarded Preferred Bidder status in the RMIPPPP in March 2021. The Project will integrate co-located 86,4 MW wind energy, 155 MW solar Photo Voltaic arrays, and 94MW/242MWh lithium-iron-phosphate battery storage on a single site with a single hybrid plant controller. This orchestrates all three technologies to provide dispatchable power to the grid as and when needed – making the Oya Facility one of the largest hybrid energy projects in Africa and unique in the world in terms of technology mix, size and price.

The green-field development will straddle the Western and Northern Cape Provinces of South Africa, between the towns of Ceres and Sutherland. The facility will operate at a capacity factor of around 75% between the hours of 5 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. when national electricity demand is highest. The Oya Energy management system is a first in the world bespoke system utilising AI and machine learning to maximise capacity, availability, and predictability in the presence of variable solar and wind resources, the intricacies of the lithium-iron-phosphate battery energy storage system, complex connection requirements and the evolving needs of the South African electricity grid. The Project will be capable of delivering backup renewable energy power (dispatchable or on-demand) to between 240,000 and 320,000 households , contributing to reducing loadshedding. Amongst other capabilities, the Project will be able to provide ancillary services to stabilise the grid (helping stabilise voltage and frequency variations).

Dr Kilian Hagemann, CEO of G7 Renewable Energies, commented at the signing ceremony,

“This is a momentous milestone for G7 and its partners in the Oya Project. We are incredibly proud of our team and grateful for the support of our strategic equity partner, @ENGIE.” He added, “It validates our joint expertise and ability to develop complex and efficient hybrid renewable energy projects in South Africa. After years of G7 spearheading the wind energy industry in the country, the unique challenge of the RMIPPPP – to provide reliable, low-cost, on-demand and clean energy to South Africa in a technology-agnostic way – challenged us to pioneer beyond conventional parameters. We are very grateful to Eskom and the DMRE for their contribution to bringing this project to fruition. It has been a complex process, and we acknowledge the professionalism of the IPP office and the Eskom Team working on the programme and bringing it to this critical milestone”.