24 June 2013 – J.C. Bosman Boerdery, home of the successful vine nursery Lelienfontein Vine Growers as well as the Bosman Family Vineyards, has acquired a 53 kWp solar electricity system for the roof of the wine cellar at Lelienfontein and a 35 kWp solar electricity system on the roof of the Groenfontein administrative offices.  

The two grid-tied solar electricity systems were supplied by SolarWorld Africa, together with its distribution partner African Technical Innovations. At present there is a strong move from South African farmers towards solar energy. Within the wine farming industry the use of solar technology makes business sense as cooling takes place generally when the sun shines.

“Having partnered with SolarWorld on a number of projects in the agriculture and wine farming sectors, we have formed a team to implement these solar electricity systems,” managing director of African Technical Innovations, installer of the two systems, Kobus Engelbrecht, says.

The installation is expected to generate 147,871 kWh a year. According to standards published in the 2012 Eskom annual report, solar electricity production at this level amounts to additional savings of 144,702 litres of water per year and it will off-set carbon emissions by 141.5 tonnes.

“Agribusiness is starting to capitalise on the long-term advantages of investment in renewables. The obvious environmental benefits are driving some of this growth but we have found that it is the highly measurable commercial benefits that are influencing investment decisions,” Gregor Küpper, SolarWorld Africa managing director, says.