Terra Firma Solutions

In South Africa’s Western Cape Province, Douglas Green Bellingham (DGB), a large independent wine and spirit producer, has commissioned an 800kWp solar PV rooftop system, claiming that it is largest PV system in the South African wine industry.

Comprising of an estimated 2,600 solar panels, the system is built across four different roofs at the facility and covers an area of over 6,200 sqm – making it the single largest rooftop solar photovoltaic power plant on any wine producing facility in South Africa, Terra Firma Solutions said in a company statement.

Cape winery to achieve sustainability objective

According to DGB production director, Ree Du Toit, this installation, which was designed and installed by turnkey energy engineering solution provider, Terra Firma Solutions, is testament to the company’s commitment to reduce its emissions and its carbon footprint.

Du Toit added that part of the firm’s sustainability strategy, the PV system could potentially offset 1,265 tonnes of CO2e per annum, adding that the project “makes sound financial sense from a capital investment point of view.”

[quote]This saving in carbon emissions is about the equivalent of driving a small car from Cape Town to Johannesburg 5,550 times per annum.

Tim Hutchinson, CEO of DGB has expressed this project as being the first before rolling out additional solar plants across the company’s facilities: “This plant will produce over 1.25 million kWh’s in its first year of full operation.

“With the environmental and financial benefits from investing into projects such as these, the company is investigating renewable energy opportunities across the group.”

Incentive driven by local municipality

Managing Director of Terra Firma Solutions, Ed Gluckman, explained: “The Drakenstein municipality is one of the few municipalities in the country, which has a net metering embedded generation tariff available to the public.

“This enables the facility to export power back to the grid at the same Rand per kWh rate at which it pays the municipality. There is expected exporting of electricity when the plant reaches its peak power and therefore producing more power than what is required on site during the day.”

According to a press statement, the system, which has a 25-year lifespan, could potentially produce enough power in a year to meet 45 to 50% of the entire facilities energy demand.

 

Home page pic credit: Terra Firma Solutions

1 COMMENT

  1. An 800kWp installation is not going to produce 1,25 million kWh in a year. If it makes 1,25 thousand kWh in a year it will be doing well, but will be achieving 18% of its installed production capacity. The winery is still dependent on the grid for more than half its electricity needs, so they are lucky the municipality will pay them the same as they are charged per kWh. Mind you, they will not have surplus to sell the municipality for much of the time by the look of things.