THE REIPPP financial closure for round 1 was recently announced and while these projects are yet to commence, leading South African companies are taking pioneering steps in implementing solar energy technologies. SolarWorld Africa, the African distribution arm of one of the largest solar companies worldwide, SolarWorld AG, is at the forefront of this movement with their milestone projects.
Solarworld, based in Cape Town, says it is fast becoming a household name synonymous with solar energy solutions through their use of high quality solar technology across residential, commercial and agricultural sectors. During 2012, it has been involved in various milestone projects of which the largest and most unique in Africa are the Dube Tradeport, Century City Vodacom, Ceres Koelkamers, Nampower and the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism installations.
“Photovoltaic or solar power technology not only saves money but also significantly contributes to an organisation’s role in conserving the environment,” says SolarWorld Africa’s managing director Gregor Küpper.
SolarWorld supplied 2127 SW255 PV panels for the Vodacom administrative headquarters in Century City, Cape Town. The 542.45kWp project is said to be the largest array of solar panels on a single rooftop in Africa, forming part of Vodacom’s endeavour of reducing its energy consumption and to comply with new regulations in green building specifications.
The system, which has pitched and flat roof sections, was installed by In-Toto Solutions over a 3 600 sq m area, using SolarWorld’s semi-integrated Sundeck and flat roof mounting structures Suntab. The installation is expected to produce about 75% of the 650kWp power requirements of the building during peak production. The array will offset approximately 25% of the building’s electrical energy use throughout the year, a potential energy saving of about 830MWh per annum which is equal to charging more than 70 million mobile phones over that same period. rolex replica watches
Another first in Africa for the agriculture sector is the 508kWp rooftop installation on a cold storage facility in Ceres that consumes around 5 000 000kWh per year. The facility offers cooling options for fruit and vegetable growers in the Ceres region.
The turnkey project is to be implemented by African Technical Innovations based in Ceres with SolarWorld supplying the solar technology. The electricity generated by the system will save the facility approximately 20% of their annual electricity bill.
SolarWorld together with installation partner, Sustainable Power Solutions, supplied and installed Africa’s largest roof-mounted photovoltaic (PV) system to date for the Dube TradePort’s ‘Agrizone’ near the King Shaka airport in Kwa-Zulu Natal. The first phase, a 218kWp installation, was commissioned in November 2011 and the second (and final) phase, a 430kWp installation, was completed during the course of 2012. The 2848 SolarWorld solar panels, with a total output of 630kWp, cover an area of approximately 4 700 sq m.
This PV installation on the roofs of two AgriZone pack houses creates an embedded generation environment, powering the AgriZone grid with electricity for the cold storage facilities to refrigerate the produce harvested in the 80 000 sq m area of greenhouses. Additionally, the electricity also powers the packing lines, packing equipment, offices and storage facilities.
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