COCA-COLA Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) has ramped up its solar power generation capacity, totalling seven out of 13 manufacturing facilities now using solar power around the country, as at the end of August. The company’s target is to install solar power at 12 of these plants by the end of 2020.
In 2018, CCBSA initiated a renewable energy project as part of its sustainability commitment and strategic objectives, focusing on solar power at its manufacturing plants. The company began rolling out solar photovoltaic panels at its plants located across the Free State, Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KZN and Elgin, Western Cape. The company aims to generate up to 18 313 MWh per annum, or 11% of the company’s total electricity demand based on 2019 usage, with completion initially scheduled for mid-year 2020.
“Due to delays as a result of the Corona virus pandemic, a total of only 1 860 MWh of solar energy had been generated by the end of August across all CCBSA plants,” says CCBSA’s Manufacturing and Technical Director, Henry Peek. “While this is behind our initial projections, we are well on our way to reaching (and surpassing) our 2019 total generation of 2 905 MWh, as we have an additional three plants generating solar (up from four in 2019).”
CCBSA’s Premier plant (in KwaZulu-Natal), as well the Bloemfontein Tannery plant and Bloemfontein Gutsche plant commissioned their solar systems in 2020 with additional sites to be commissioned by year end. These added to the Devland, Heidelberg, Pretoria and Midrand plants that were already producing solar power.
Engineering teams are now preparing to complete additional projects at the company’s Phoenix, Lakeside, Wadeville, Polokwane and Elgin sites.
“In order to make better use of this additional capacity, the next phase of our project will be to engage with municipalities to explore power export agreements, so that this much-needed energy can go back into the national grid for our communities to benefit from green energy,” he adds.