HomeIndustry SectorsGenerationAgri sector benefits from solar in the Northern Cape

Agri sector benefits from solar in the Northern Cape

The agricultural sector in Kakamas will be benefiting from clean energy to run their Abattoir and Butchery in the Northern Cape, South Africa.

Manufacturers of solar power technology, SolarWorld, have installed the Kakamas abattoir and butchery with a SolarWorld solar system by SolarTrends which will generate around 95 kWp (kilowatt-peak). This is the first South African abattoir to generate solar power for its cold-storage system, SolarWorld said in a statement.

The system is located in a field behind the abattoir installed with 405 Sunmodule Plus SW 250 poly solar modules which will feed straight into the national grid, reducing the abattoirs traditional energy consumption by 60 percent, SolarWorld said in a statement.

The town of Kakamas has been supported by its rich agricultural heritage for decades and by installing modern energy systems which has a life span of 25-30 years, they can drive the industry to new heights, contributing significantly to the upliftment and growth of the town.

Project director at SolarTrends, Hendri de Beer said that, ‘the Kakamas Abattoir is used by most of the livestock farmers in the region and continuous energy supply is needed for slaughter as well as cold storage.’

The farmers utilise the abattoir and butchery as a market to sell to the local communities and as a platform to export to foreign markets, SolarWorld said.

‘The Kakamas region has an abundant supply of sun shine, 365 days a year. Because of its remote desert-like location, it is a growth node for the solar industry…

We are delighted to have partnered SolarTrends on this innovative project which is setting a new standard for sustainable solar energy in the cold chain of livestock farmers…

This project builds on SolarWorld Africa’s many successful projects in the farming industry across Africa’, said Gregor Küpper, Managing Director of SolarWorld Africa.

In a statement, SolarWorld said that the agricultural and tourism industries had been negatively impacted by power outages and an alternative energy plan needed to be implemented to avoid any further loss and damage caused.

‘A key challenge of the project was to minimise the impact of the free-field installation on the logistical requirements of the abattoir’s day-to-day operations…

With a road passing through the field for trucks and cars, the placement of the solar panels had to be carefully designed to cater for access, delivery and collection points, areas to turn the trucks around and parking facilities,’ de Beer said.

De Beers said that local authorities had acknowledged the benefits of this initiative and how the generated power could extend to support other industries in the region.

‘The project has received the approval and active support from the local municipality of Kakamas. It realises that the electricity which becomes available in the grid through the abattoir using solar electricity could be used to support further developments in the community. This project will go a far way to ensuring the continuous growth and innovation among the region’s farming community in the 21st century’, he said.

(Pic credits: treehugger.com)

Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl
As the Editor of ESI Africa, my passion is on sustainability and placing African countries on the international stage. I take a keen interest in the trends shaping the power & water utility market along with the projects and local innovations making headline news. Watch my short weekly video on our YouTube channel ESIAfricaTV and speak with me on what has your attention.