REA solar project

South Africa’s mobile solar energy provider Ugesi Gold has partnered with EnergyNet to provide an off-grid primary school with solar kits in the Gauteng provinceOn Wednesday, Ugesi Gold issued statement announcing that on 2 March 2016 the company will be inaugurating its mobile solar power station dubbed PowerTurtle, for a primary school located in an informal settlement of Palm Ridge, Gauteng.

“With the attendance of the President’s office, Gauteng province, department of energy, department of education and the IPP office, the government of South Africa will officially inaugurate the Solar Turtle [PowerTurtle] at the off-grid school in the informal settlement of Palm Ridge at 10am on 2nd March 2016,” the company stated.

Previous solar projects failed

[quote]According the company, in the past other solar projects have attempted to install solar panels at off-grid schools but due to theft, the projects have not been successful.

However, Ugesi Gold has expressed confidence in their product, stating that “PowerTurtle is a unique, container-based design, which allows for unparalleled security”.

PowerTurtle container
PowerTurtle container

Explaining the operation of this unique design, the release stated that the morning sunshine triggers the solar panels to unfold within minutes, which are enabled by a specifically engineered rail system.

“In the evenings the solar panels [will] slide back into the reinforced six metre shipping container for safe keeping. This pilot boasts an impressive 16x 300W solar PV panels (4.8kW) the latest Freedom Lite lithium batteries and …8.5kW Schneider solar technology,” the company added.

PowerTurtle – for communities  

Commenting on the anticipated inauguration, James van der Walt of Ugesi Gold and the developer of SolarTurtle said: “PowerTurtle is the first step towards secure, reliable and sustainable electricity for schools like Pheasant Folly Primary School.

"The unique PowaPod design allows a series of solar panels to unfold from the confines of a secure 6 metre shipping container, and back again at night."

He continued: “With this extra security the panels are set to outlast the harsh realities that off-grid schools face. By launching the PowerTurtle in Palm Ridge we hope to show the potential of not only secure electricity for the school but an energy solution for the whole community. I would just like to thank our friends at AMSolar and RexiVista that help bring the PowerTurtle to life.”

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