Cape Town home to Africa’s largest integrated solar plant


Black River Park, a contemporary office block in the suburb of Observatory, Cape Town, has turned on phase 3 of its PV installation earlier this month.

According to Cape Business News, the roof top installation at the 75,000m2 office park in Observatory is rated at 1.56MW and is made up of approximately 6,000 panels spread over 9,000m2 of roof space. [BMW South Africa introduces solar carport for EVs]

[quote] The solar array was compared to Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, the Googleplex, generates 1.6 MW of electricity from 9,212 photovoltaic solar panels. The added capacity at Black River Park, makes it amongst the world’s top 20 roof top solar installations.

Ilse Badenhorst, head of Utilities, Redefine Properties was reported saying, “This is a significant milestone for the industry and we have shown that with a little ingenuity and help from technology, the journey towards carbon neutral is not as onerous.”

“Solar currently represents the cheapest and most sustainable way to generate renewable electricity. Also the technology has leapfrogged to such an extent that efficiencies are constantly improving as prices fall. As the panels use space on top of the commercial buildings, they shield it from the sun leaving it cooler, further lowering energy consumption.”

Solar PV savings

Badenhorst continued on to say that through the adoption of solar, Black River Park has been able to reduce energy costs and save almost R6m ($433,142.64) over the past 30 months, with monthly savings at over R80,000 ($5,774.31) in winter and R300,000 ($21,657.13) in summer. She added that with the third phase now online, she expects the monthly savings to increase by at least 30%. [Solar PV maintenance: DNV GL shares best practice]

Badenhorst added: “As a responsible corporate citizen, we are constantly looking for ways to adopt sustainable practices by disrupting the normal.”

“The realisation that sustainable practices mitigate the risks of climate change should have cut into the mainstream much earlier. The exponential understanding of the risks of not doing something has really brought the industry together to commit to make the move towards renewable energy.”


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