Midstream Estate has a R200 million plan to cut up to 4 stages of loadshedding

The sought-after Midstream Estate situated on the outskirts of Centurion has major plans to install a large battery bank to store energy from solar plants, Eskom, and, if required, a bank of generators to keep its residents' lights on during loadshedding.


As discussed during a special Energy Indaba, the residents showed overwhelming support for the ambitious plan that the developers believe could be in place by August 2023. The plan could cost around R200 million and will see residents unaffected by loadshedding stages 1 to 4. 


Jan Zeederberg, a founder and director of Bondev, the developer of Midstream Estate, proposed the plan. The planning for this project started five years ago, said Zeederberg. Explaining that they wanted to see how they could use solar power to supplement energy on the Midstream grid. Adding that, "80% of the controls needed to use solar power to avert loadshedding are already in place in Midstream Estate."


Midstream Estate is connected to an 11/88kV Eskom substation with metering and control equipment using fibre optic communication to all houses. This smart grid system is managed by Midstream Electrical Supplies (MES).


It means that Midstream has a single grid it can control, giving it the flexibility needed to address load-shedding.


The next step is to build the battery storage system. The 8MVA battery bank will receive energy from solar plants, which will be supplemented by Eskom during non-loadshedding hours, and if required, by a bank of generators.


People have already shown interest in developing solar farms in Midstream according to Zeederberg. 


“Land will be made available to them. They will be connected to the grid, and we will have full redundancy for our electricity supply.”


“We will sync with Eskom’s grid before load-shedding kicks in. It will be seamless – you won’t even know it happened,” he said. “Once the supply from Eskom falls away, the battery system will take over.”


The current MES load management system can further be extended to houses with high consumption to switch off high-power demand devices during loadshedding.


This network will be extended in the future to protect against higher loadshedding levels and then take the estate completely off the grid.


Residents who participate in the loadshedding protection will only pay according to their consumption during loadshedding. The additional payments during loadshedding will cover the cost to finance the purchase of the batteries, generators, and the cost to harvest solar energy.


Bi-directional meters installed by MES will also measure electricity fed into the grid and charge the battery bank. These houses will be compensated accordingly.


Midstream Estate already has over a thousand houses with roof-top solar connected to the electrical grid.


You can watch the Indaba presentation here 


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