On Monday, the Western Cape’s minister of economic opportunities, Alan Winde, officially switched on the 1.4MW solar system at Cape Town’s iconic V&A Waterfront. This first phase has already started to generate 900kW and the full system is expected to reach completion in early 2016.
According to MEC Winde, this project highlights the focus on the Western Cape’s green economy and renewable power industry, as well as the competitive advantages that the region has to offer potential investors.
“In the Western Cape, we have set ourselves the goal of becoming the greenest region in South Africa. Securing reliable, affordable energy is a key focus area for the Western Cape Government.
“In fact, it is one of our game-changers and is being driven by a special unit in the Premier’s office. At municipal level, we’re looking at including solar PV as part of the energy mix,” Winde said.
V&A Waterfront: keeping to schedule
The solar project, which comprises of 4,207 solar PV modules, has been installed across six of the landmark’s buildings including, the Watershed, the Breakwater Apartment, the Clock Tower, Granger Bay, Two Oceans Aquarium and Ports Edge.
EPC contractors, Sustainable Power Solutions (SPS) and its partners, SolarWorld Africa, SMA Solar Technology SA and Schletter SA, completed the three month installation process in November, on time and within budget, according to SPS managing director Axel Scholle.
“A key to our success was the speed of installation. Within three months we had 900kW installed on several roofs in spite of the challenges associated with a busy tourist attraction such as the V&A Waterfront.
“The solar system contributes a significant amount of solar electricity to the V&A Waterfront’s own power usage depending on what building the solar panels are located. The typical contribution from the various solar plants to each of the building’s electricity consumption ranges between 7% and 24%,” Scholle explained.
Generating clean power
Once completed, the solar project is expected to have a total output capacity of 1,093.8kWp and will offset 1,610 tonnes of carbon emissions per year.
According to the project developers, the average daily production of this system will be 4,495kWh, enough power needed to supply 310 average-sized households with a full day of power.
Executive manager of the V&A Waterfront, Colin Devenish commented: “This project exemplifies what is possible for integrated, clean energy in high-usage properties, falling in line with our remit to deliver world-class standards that can be measured against responsible business practices.
“Most importantly, it is about long-term energy saving and sustainable electricity generation that is going to work for 25-30 years.”
With over 24 million visitors a year, consumers can have the added benefit of enjoying the landmark’s beauty while knowing that it is self-producing a portion of its total energy consumption.
Home page pic credit: Green Business Guide