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Government secures further energy resilience with agreement for new Battery Energy Storage System

The Government has announced that it has signed an agreement with Solar Century Africa Limited, a renowned global market leader in the development of solar PV and energy storage projects using smart energy technology and controls, for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of a new 14MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) at the North Mole Power Station (NMPS). The total cost of the project is £16.5 million and follows a competitive tender process which commenced in July of last year. 

A statement continued: “The BESS will provide instant back-up power to the Gibraltar Electricity Authority’s electricity distribution network in the event of engine failure as well as providing system frequency support to assist with load variations and disturbances in the grid. 

“The order for the BESS unit itself will be issued immediately, with the BESS expected to arrive on site in around 8 months’ time. The BESS will be fully commissioned and operational approximately 7 months later, allowing for the release of all the diesel rental plant and therefore reducing operational costs as well as carbon emissions. 

"The introduction of the BESS operating in parallel with the NMPS will undoubtedly contribute towards making Gibraltar’s power system as a whole more resilient and will contribute towards reducing the frequency of power cuts caused as a result of power generation and, to an extent, bring in dynamics which are generally associated with large interconnected power grids whilst we continue to preserve our absolute electrical energy independence as a small nation.” 

The Minister with responsibility for the Electricity Authority, Gemma Arias-Vasquez, said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have been able to sign the agreement for the BESS. This is a significant investment which will provide a greener, more resilient future for Gibraltar. It is important to understand, however, that the new Battery will not be able to eliminate power cuts completely. It will, however, significantly mitigate against power cuts caused by a failure in the power station. To put things into perspective, since 2020, 16 power cuts would have been avoided had we had the BESS system in place. I am therefore very pleased that we have been able to sign the agreements and would like to thank everyone involved in the project for their efforts, including my predecessor Albert Isola who commenced this project.”