40 year anniversay
SolarWorld Powers Grootbos Foundation, Non-Profit Organisation in Western Cape 31.12

SolarWorld, by way of its distribution partner and project implementer Solek, supplied a solar electricity system to the Grootbos Foundation, a non-profit organisation in the Western Cape. The project forms part of their aim to reduce their carbon footprint and costs, as well as to conserve the environment.

Leading global solar PV manufacturer, SolarWorld, donated the solar system whilst Solek provided a free of charge installation and engineering expertise. “This donation assists the Grootbos Foundation in its continued work towards our vision and brings us closer to living our commitment to sustainability and conservation”, says Julie Cheetham, Grootbos Foundation Managing Director.

The project includes a 5kWp solar system, which will generate sufficient energy ensuring the NPO has a fixed monthly electricity cost. Apart from assisting the Grootbos Foundation in saving on their electricity bill, the project contributes to conserving the environment, which forms part of their vision.

Gregor Kuepper, Managing Director of SolarWorld Africa explains, “Our commitment to sustainability begins on the inside. It starts with how we manufacture our products, choose our materials and treat our employees, then it extends to the communities we serve. Our commitment encompasses both economic and social sustainability which includes our factories, suppliers and employees.  It is part of our identity and this is what sets SolarWorld apart from the rest of the solar manufacturing industry”.

“Partnering and long-term relations with well-established solar companies have always been a key strategy. Our collaboration with SolarWorld on this project has proven successful and we look forward to building on past success and continue to collaborate in the future”, says Hannes Van Zyl, Solek Managing Director.

The Grootbos Foundation solar system is operative and will generate clean renewable energy for the training centre for 25 years and more. “We are extremely proud of our new environmentally friendly, energy efficient office and training facility which is complete with a brand new solar system and we are extremely grateful to SolarWorld and Solek Innovations”, concludes Cheetham.

Napoleon’s place of exile gets solar: Solar energy by SolarWorld on St Helena connection to the grid of 500 kWp solar systems 31.12

Going forward, the island of St Helena in the Atlantic Ocean will now be able to supply more than a third of its energy needs from renewable sources. SolarWorld has provided the modules for the two largest solar power plants on the island. St Helena became famous as the place of exile of Napoleon Bonaparte. Today the island near the west coast of Africa formally belongs to the UK. Following the installation of SolarWorld photovoltaic modules, the island now has the highest proportion of wind and solar energy feeding into the grid out of all regions in the UK.

Due to increased energy costs and a high dependency on imports, the local utility company Connect Saint Helena Ltd. (CSH) started to convert electricity generation from diesel to renewable energy resources. Approximately 2,300 SolarWorld modules will now produce clean solar power on the island. Through the use of solar power around 300,000 liters of diesel can be saved each year. Like many small islands, St Helena has mainly relied on diesel generators for power generation in the past.

The long term solar initiative was launched three years ago: In 2012, one of SolarWorld’s partners, Sustainable Power Solutions (Pty) Ltd. (SPS), an engineering, procurement and construction company, was appointed by CSH to design and install the first solar power plant as part of a pilot project on the island. In 2013 and 2014, further projects followed, including a rooftop system, which supplies the local power station. This year, Sustainable Power Solutions was appointed by CSH once again to design and build a large ground-mounted system using SolarWorld modules, adding another 500 kWp of renewable energy to the grid.

„We are pleased that SolarWorld has been selected as supplier to St Helena. In such projects, all depends on quality, durability and weather resistance. If you want to be on the safe side, SolarWorld quality is key,“ said Gregor Küpper, Managing Director of SOLARWORLD Africa (Pty) Ltd. For years, SolarWorld has been present in the South African market, with its products made in Germany and made in USA. In Sub- Saharan Africa, the company is one of the most successful solar module manufacturers in the region.

SolarWorld Africa installs Western Cape’s first PV system at produce cooling facility 31.12

SolarWorld together with installation partner, African Technical Innovation, supplied and installed the Western Cape’s first and largest roof-mounted photovolataic (PV) system to date in the agricultural sector at the Ceres Koelkamers. A pioneer in the agricultural sector, the fruit and vegetable cooling facility in Ceres, saw the installation of 508 kWp completed in record speed between 1 December 2012 and 17 January 2013.

SolarWorld supplied 2117 SW240 poly PV panels for the array spanning two cold storage buildings covering an area of approximately xxxm2. The installation is expected to generate 840 000kWh per year of power for the cold storage facilities to refrigerate harvested produce. The facility consumes around 5 000 000kWh per year and the installation will save the facility up to 20% of their annual electricity bill and off-set the carbon emissions by 839.52 tons of CO2per year for more than twenty-five years.

“SolarWorld is the preferred supplier for Deutsche Bank solar projects. This means the meeting of strict financial key performance indicators, i.e. Watt output per square metre, kWh/kWp. With expected yields of 80-85% of irradiation, our clients can be sure that their investment delivers feasible ROI,” says Gregor Kuepper, SolarWorld Africa’s Managing Director.

Ceres Koelkamers made this landmark decision to opt for solar power as opposed to wind and hydropower for the reason that the region does not have water or wind in great supply, however sunshine hours are high. In addition, the period when the greatest cooling is required is the exact same time as when the region receives its highest irradiation, namely summer.

“We felt that somebody had to take the risk and we were brave enough to do it first. Ceres Koelkamers is confident that we will be in business for longer than the next 30 years and have faith in the South African agricultural industry, and for this reason we are investing in high quality products with a long lifespan which have the capacity to produce electricity for 25–30 years and more. We could have built another koelkamer with the funds or saved on our annual electricity bill for the next 25 years and more and the decision was made to save electricity,” says Francis Matthee, Managing Director of Ceres Koelkamers.

Kobus Engelbrecht, General Manager of African Technical Innovation who installed the system advised Ceres Koelkamers on the business case behind the solar system: “We wanted to get the best product at the lowest prices, with a 25 year guarantee in order to justify the capital investment. With the best quality product on the market, SolarWorld still presented the best financial case as well,” adds Engelbrecht. The project was subsidised within the Government’s Integrated Demand Management (IDM) Programme. The programme’s focus is to ensure short-term security of electricity supply through coordinating and consolidating the various initiatives aimed at optimising energy use and balancing electricity supply and demand.

South Africa’s largest rooftop installation at Dube Tradeport 31.12

SOLARWORLD Africa together with its partner Power Solutions, a South African EPC company, supplies Africa’s largest roof-mounted photovoltaic system in the Dube TradePort’s ‘Agrizone’ at Durban International Airport.

SOLARWORLD Africa is the African distribution arm of SolarWorld AG and was chosen to supply this milestone project with its high quality German solar technology. “Having been present in the African market for two decades, we are very proud to be involved in this lighthouse project which showcases the African continent’s unlimited potential for solar power generation. It is especially important at this time when the world’s focus is centred on the COP17 Global Climate Change Conference in Durban.” says SolarWorld Africa’s Managing Director Gregor Küpper.

This particular photovoltaic installation at the Dube TradePort, will generate power to supply the Agrizone grid with electricity for cold storage for the produce harvested from the 80 000m2 of greenhouses. The electricity will also power the packing lines, packing equipment, offices and storage facilities. The complete installation will off-set the carbon emissions of the Dube TradePort by 830 tons of CO2 every year for more than twenty-five years.

The photovoltaic installation, with a capacity scheduled to exceed 600kWp, was given permission by the eThekwini authorities to connect to the municipal grid. “Our fit out of solar panelling for the pack houses at the AgriZone is part of our overall strategy to drive sustainability of the businesses that are operating from the AgriZone”, says Rohan Persad, CEO of the Dube TradePort Corporation, “The source of power provides cost efficiencies for operations and lowers our carbon foot print in our first perishables supply chain. We are very excited to be working with Power Solutions and SolarWorld in installing the largest photovoltaic installation in the country and in Africa”.

The first phase of the installation takes place on the roof of the logistics and storage facility which will feed power to the AgriZone grid before the start of the COP17 Climate Change Conference in Durban on the 28 November. The second phase of the installation will be installed on the roof of the warehousing facility once the building construction has been completed.

The solar power generated will supply the AgriZone grid with electricity to power cold storage for the produce harvested from the greenhouses as well as the packing lines, packing equipment, offices and storage. “This ground-breaking photovoltaic installation will make a significant contribution towards meeting the energy requirements of the AgriZone’s pack houses and in doing so, enable a more sustainable and environmentally sound operation at Africa’s most advanced hydroponics facility.” says Axel Scholle, Managing Director of Power Solutions and lead engineer on the project.

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