Search Icon White

USTDA Holds Energy Storage Standards Workshop organized by ANSI under U.S. - Africa Clean Energy Standards Program in South Africa


On February 21, 2019 the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) hosted the "Energy Storage Standards, Conformance and Technology" workshop in Johannesburg, South Africa. The workshop was organized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) under the USTDA-funded U.S.-Africa Clean Energy Standards Program (CESP).

More than 90 participants from the U.S. and South Africa attended the workshop. The event provided participants a thorough understanding of energy storage systems (ESS) standards to support safe and reliable deployment of these technologies in South Africa and around the world. This workshop fostered discussions of cross-cutting issues and opportunities for U.S. - South Africa cooperationand included a high-level speaker and attendees from South Africa's electricity utility, Eskom.

The workshop featured 20 expert speakers from the U.S. and South Africa. Expert speakers included 13 representatives from nine U.S.-based organizations including Alpha Technologies, California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), Eaton,Jabil, National Electric Manufacturing Association (NEMA), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Southern Africa Energy Program (SAEP), Tesla, and UniEnergy Technologies (UET).

The event complemented Eskom's Battery Storage Program, which will support the addition of 360MW/1440MWh of battery energy storage to the South Africa national grid by 2022. Presentations focused on standards and technical aspects of energy storage systems that form a critical foundation for safety, and a prerequisite for the successful proliferation of energy storage systems across South Africa and the world.

Background on Energy Storage in South Africa

Energy storage systems (ESS) are emerging as central features of electrical infrastructure as global economies transition away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy systems. Storage systems are an essential tool for decentralized energy systems of all sizes. They play a critical role when integrated in a system-relevant and cost-effective manner. These benefits have the potential to substantially improve both on- and off-grid efficiency and reliability.

In 2012, Eskom began a series of actions to enhance South Africa's energy infrastructure, including the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) and Eskom's Renewable Energy Independent Power Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). These initiatives have helped augment the available renewable energy capacity in South Africa. As renewables have increased in the national energy mix, energy storage has become increasingly important as a means for Eskom to improve dispatchability and consistency of variable renewable energy (VRE). With this recognition, Eskom has embarked on an initiative to increase available storage capacity and complement existing renewable generation called the Battery Storage Program.

The Battery Storage Program will add 360MW/1440MWh of battery energy storage to Eskom's energy infrastructure between 2019 and 2021. The program includes implementation of distributed battery storage in two phases beginning with development and implementation of 200MW/800MWh battery energy storage systems (BESS) at 47 of Eskom's distributed substation sites and followed by the procurement and implementation of 160MW/640MWh of BESS at Eskom substations across all nine provinces of South Africa by December 2021.

As South Africa seeks to expand available energy storage capacity over the next three years, installation codes, standards, and conformity assessment will form an essential foundation for safe and reliable energy systems. As Eskom deploys BESS, relevant authorities must have the necessary understanding to evaluate these technologies to ensure safety and promote reliability. For this reason, standards are a foundational component to build out South African electrical infrastructure and support successful proliferation of BESS across South Africa and the world.

In total, the Battery Storage Program has received more than ZAR 15.3 billion ($1.1 billion USD) in funding to support system procurement, installation, and implementation across various loans including loans from the African Development Bank and World Bank. Further, according to South Africa's National Development Plan (NDP) 2030, the nation plans to procure at least 20,000MW of renewable energy by 2030 to decommission 11,000MW in coal-fired plants, and to increase investment in energy efficiency. To meet the ambitious goals of the NDP, the government of South Africa intends to invest ZAR 948 billion ($68.6 billion USD) in energy infrastructure from 2018 to 2020.

The U.S.-Africa Clean Energy Standards Program (CESP) and ANSI

The event was the eighth workshop coordinated by ANSI under the USTDA-funded U.S.-Africa CESP. Future CESP workshops will likely focus on mini-grids, smart grids, and metering standards.

The CESP provides a platform for industry and government representatives from the U.S. and Sub-Saharan Africa to cooperate on standardization issues relevant to clean energy technologies and build the relationships necessary for further technical exchange. CESP also supports Power Africa's objectives, helping create an enabling environment and capacity of governments and private sector entities to increase both on-grid and off-grid energy access.

For more information on the U.S.-Africa CESP and the "Energy Storage Standards, Conformance and Technology" workshop, including access to the presentations, agenda, photos, and flyer, please visit

Organizations interested in co-sponsoring a CESP workshop are invited to complete the commercial benefit questionnaire here for review and approval by USTDA.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]