Black River Park Solar System

Cape Town – A solar-powered producing plant on the roof of the office park around Observatory, Cape Town, is becoming the very first of its type to supply electrical power into Cape Town’s distribution system.

Black River Park, located just off Liesbeek Parkway in Observatory, is in the lead in the commercial real estatesector by using large-scale solar power systems to produce eco-friendly and sustainable power, for itself as well as the City’s electrical power grid.

The 1.2MW Black River Park Solar Project is likewise the biggest roof-mounted integrated PV (photovoltaic) plant around Africa and among the biggest on earth, based on the builders, who declare it’s capable of producing slightly below 2 million kilowatt hours each year coming from its 5 500 modules.

How Can They Supply Additional Electricity Into The Grid?

Black River Park’s solar panels cover up a space of 11 000 m2 (approximately 2 entire sized rugby fields), which makes it the second biggest rooftop solar series around Africa. They could cover 20 – 30% of their own usage demands on peak electricity usage periods. Ever since signing the very first small-scale embedded electricity generation contract along with the City of Cape Town, they’re now also capable to supply a limited quantity of additional electricity back to the city’s electrical power grid. Also, this allows an offset from the City’s monthly electricity records.

Additional electricity is given back to the grid during weekends and on low peak periods, for instance; if the office park’s electrical load is decreased.

Other than supplying additional electricity, it’s hopeful that Black River Park can help promote the city’s green economy by raising the demand for solar panel systems as well as other sources of sustainable energy. This could also help generate jobs on this industry.

The City of Cape Town has been recognized in the global level to be in the forefront green pursuits, as well as the Black River Park project is among the steps on the way to developing a sustainable city which deals with the issues facing the environment.

How Do Locals Save In Electricity Tariffs?

The City of Cape Town has develop a goal of sourcing 10% of its electrical power coming from alternative energy resources by 2020. The City is now operating a project to discover a solution which enables users to feed power back to the grid and get an offset on their own electricity tariff while doing this.

Locals can now offset a few of their own electricity charges by giving additional power into the grid via their very own Small-scale Embedded Generator (SSEG). In order to supply electricity to the municipal electricity grid, users must have a bi-directional advanced meter structure credit meter set up by the City at their own expense and bring their electricity supply in the suitable SSEG tariff.

Robben Island Solar Power Grid

Lots of people are aware of Robben Island because of its reputation being the prison which held numerous high-profile political prisoners like Ahmed Kathrada,Walter Sisulu as well as Nelson Mandela. Throughout the years, the island also has been a leper nest as well as a host location of WW2 garrisons. The island, hence, includes a rich political past – one that attracts the many hundreds of visitors to its shores every day.

Aside from the historical value, Robben island also is a biodiversity hotspot, with a number of bird species getting refuge and mating grounds over the rocky shoreline. The African jackass penguin – an endangered bird discovered only around the southern region coastline of Africa – also calls the region its home.

Energy to Robben Island has traditionally been provided by diesel generators. In order to fulfil the power needs of the island, about 600 000 litres of diesel were being used on a yearly basis – at great expense to the island’s management, and at great expense to the vulnerable natural environment on the island.

The solar microgrid was commissioned by the National Department of Tourism to help encourage sustainable tourism in important monuments all around South Africa, as an integral part of their Tourism Incentive Programme. The microgrid, that includes a 666.4 kW solar farm, 837 kW powerstore as well as several controllers, will shift the island far from its reliance upon diesel generators as well as toward the eco friendly resource of the sun.

The World Heritage status of the island made it an extremely delicate location to execute construction, and environmental and political factors resulted in the location for the PV farm was cautiously selected. SOLA staff needed to also be dispatched for training to take care of penguins, snakes as well as wildlife and the way to deal with archaeological items that could be found underground.

What makes solar microgrid great?

A blend of tourism, desalination plant as well as local site implies that Robben Island utilizes more than 2 Million kWh of electrical power each year. The solar microgrid includes a number of elements which will generate nearly 1Million kWh of electricity yearly, considerably minimizing expenses of purchasing diesel, ferrying it towards the island and using it up for electricity production.

The solar microgrid utilizes the most plentiful resource in the island – the sun – and switches this energy easily into electrical power, that could be utilized for operations. When combined, the battery system stores all extra power generated by the sun, to be used in the evening or during cloudy days. In case the two battery system as well as the sun are low, the smart microgrid controllers activate the diesel generators to start up, making certain that the island do not ever encounters power shortages or blackouts.

The mix of solar and batteries, an innovative move, is the important part of the return on investment for the island. The solar microgrid will make sure that the island decreases its fossil fuel usage significantly, by almost 250 000 litres of diesel per year. It will cause a decrease in the Island’s carbon emissions by around 820 tons, and also a great financial saving. The system can last more than twenty years.