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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