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Home » Industry News » Renewable Energy & Alternative Energy Solutions » Saldanha Green Hydrogen wants to pump its excess electricity into the local grid

Saldanha Green Hydrogen wants to pump its excess electricity into the local grid

By Larry Claasen

Phelan Green Energy Group, which is developing a R47-billion green hydrogen project in Saldanha Bay is looking at ways to transfer the excess renewable electricity it is generating into the local power grid.

The Saldanha Green Hydrogen Project will use a mix of solar and wind power – which is expected to generate 2,5 GW – to create hydrogen as a fuel for a wide range of industrial applications. 

The project will use its own distribution grip to transfer energy from its renewable generating capacity to the hydrogen plant.

But as the power being generated from the renewable power mix is inter-intermittent, the group is considering  “oversizing” its generation capacity to ensure there was a sufficient baseload of power to the plant, said the group’s head of hydrogen, Blair Phelan, who was speaking at Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde’s 31st Energy Digicon.

Phelan said this would mean a lot of excess energy would be produced at certain periods, and the group was now trying to come up with a model to send the energy it did not need into the local power grid in Saldanha.

He said for now the biggest issue was whether the local substations, which had to absorb and distribute the excess energy, had sufficient capacity. 

aside from sending excess electricity into the grid, the group’s business development manager, Adinda Preller said it also wanted to support the regional economy by sourcing components for its renewable generation locally.

“I think most of our solar panels and batteries and renewable components are currently being imported. So this really creates an opportunity for local manufacturing as well as not only of solar panels but also of components and that really also then drives further economic investment and job creation.”

Creating hydrogen in this way ensures that South Africa can produce an essential industrial resource in an ecologically friendly way.

Phelan explained that essentially the “raw materials” needed to produce hydrogen are sun, wind, and water. “You put that into an electrolyser, you put the energy and the water in together and it splits the hydrogen and oxygen.”

The Saldanha Green Hydrogen Project is anticipated to commence initial exports in early 2026, to create 2 500 jobs during the construction phase, about 500 permanent jobs and generate R6-billion in excess export revenue.

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