Last week, developers of Gauteng leisure shopping centre Clearwater Mall, Hyprop Investment, together with Johannesburg-based power company Solareff, officially launched the Mall’s second phase of its solar photovoltaic (PV) rooftop system.
Since the power system came online in November 2014, it has successfully tripled its generation output capacity from 500kWp to 1,500kWp. According to the centre’s owners it “now boasts Africa’s largest rooftop solar PV system.”
The additional capacity is expected to raise the Mall’s energy savings by up to 10% of the mall’s total consumption.
Hyprop CEO Pieter Prinsloo commented in a statement: “The additional 1,000kWp will help mitigate the impact of continuously rising electricity costs, as well as shrinking Hyprop’s carbon footprint, in line with the primary objectives of our environmental strategy.”
Solar PV project specs
The solar power system generates an estimated 2,500,000kWh of clean power annually, which according to Hyprop is equal to the consumption in the same period of 347 average households.
The second phase of the solar PV panel installation has increased the surface area from 4,000m² to an estimated 12,000m².
According to Jaco Botha, managing director of Solareff, the initiative was welcomed and supported by City Power as it assists in reducing the occurrence of load shedding during daylight hours.
Solareff was responsible for the turnkey solution of both the first and second phases of the solar PV system. The solar modules were supplied by Yingli Green Energy and Kaco New Energy supplied the inverters for the second phase.
The commercial building, which requires a reliable source of electricity seven days a week, is now able to save 1,500 tonnes of coal per year, resulting in the offset of 2,500 tonnes of carbon emissions per annum.
With a total of six large regional shopping centres across the country in its portfolio, Prinsloo said that there are plans for similar green solutions to implemented at a later stage.