Pic credit: KACO new energy
Clearwater Mall continues to harness the sun through its 4,000m2 solar photovoltaic system. Pic credit: KACO new energy

In South Africa, retail and leisure centre Clearwater Mall has now tripled its solar photovoltaic capacity from 500kWh to 1,600kWh in around eight months, which according to global solar inverter manufacturer KACO new energy, is now operating the country’s largest solar photovoltaic rooftop installation.

Located in Strubens Valley in Johannesburg, the mall is self-generating nearly a third of its 5MW installed capacity through the total of 29 installed Powador 60.0 TL3 solar inverters.

Solar photovoltaic rooftop system

Since November 2014, the shopping mall has been generating power through a 500kWh rooftop solar photovoltaic system, covering an estimated 4,000m².

Johannesburg-based power company Solareff installed the solar photovoltaic system in seven weeks and installed nine Powador 60.0 TL3 solar PV inverters made by KACO new energy for the reliable conversion of energy.

Managing Director of Solareff Jaco Botha said that the solar generated power will supply 843,000kWh annually to the mall in addition to curbing an estimated 900 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

The sun exceeding delivery

Pic credit: KACO new energy
The Clearwater Mall is currently installed with a 1,600kWh solar photovoltaic system. Pic credit: KACO new energy

According to the solar inverter manufacturing firm, the rooftop solar photovoltaic system was achieving great results, which encouraged centre management to take the project to the second expansion stage.

Since June 2015 a 1,600 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system on the rooftop of the shopping mall has been supplying clean power to over 250 shops, restaurants, cinemas and sports centres.

Christoph Heinermann, Managing Director of KACO new energy South Africa said in a company statement: "Clearwater Mall is an example of how convincing photovoltaic can be when everything is done properly.”

The second expansion stage relies completely on twenty newly installed KACO new energy Powador 60.0 TL3 solar photovoltaic inverters.

Commercial properties to invest in clean power

In April, the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) and South African Property Owners' Association (SAPOA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together to improve energy security through solar photovoltaic power.

Commenting on the MoU, Neil Gopal CEO of SAPOA said: “Given the current energy constraints in the country, we welcome this and any such initiatives to address the challenges facing South Africa.”

Moeketsi Thobela CEO of SAPVIA added: “This builds on a number of initiatives that have seen embedded PV generation capacity increase rapidly from 10MW to more than 30MW.

“The synergies represented by this agreement are enormous, including the fact that both the [energy] demand from SAPOA members’ property portfolios and solar PV generation tend to peak during the day.”