Saft provides back-up batteries for Kazakhstan wind farm systems

by John Shepherd
Saft batteries providing back-up power at Badamsha (inset). Photos: Saft / GE
French battery company Saft has supplied its Uptimax nickel-cadmium batteries to provide back-up power for critical monitoring and other systems at a wind farm in western Kazakhstan.

Saft said Uptimax was selected for the Badamsha wind farm, in the remote and exposed steppe of the north-western Aktobe region, because of the technology's "high reliability in temperatures as low as -35°C and its maintenance-free capability”.

The project is Saft’s first contract with the Poland-based uninterruptible power systems producer APS Energia. Details of the contract were not disclosed.

The batteries will provide essential back-up power for electronic monitoring, mechanical braking, pitch control and grease supply systems.

Low temperatures

Winter temperatures at Badamsha can drop as low as -35°C, which Saft said is inside the operating range of the batteries, which "tolerate a wide temperature range of -40 to +70 °C and typically provide a long service life of more than 20 years”.

The batteries were manufactured at Saft’s factory in Oskarshamn, Sweden and supplied via the company’s base in Moscow.

The first phase of Badamsha, a collaboration between Italian energy group Eni, General Electric and the Kazakhstan Ministry of Energy, started commercial operation in March 2020.

Badamsha is expected to generate 396 GWh of electricity for local industry in 2021 and save 344,000 tonnes of CO2 annually. Saft said the site is also "an important step” towards Kazakhstan’s goal of meeting 50% of its electricity demand from renewables by 2050.

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