Businesses, individuals and the Government Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPP) are making a difference together and is well on its way to becoming one of the world’s leaders in renewable energy.
Here are some of the awe-inspiring strides that South Africa has made towards greening the environment
The De Aar Solar Farm in the Northern Cape
The De Aar Solar Farm is South Africa’s largest solar plant which is based just outside the town of De Aar. This solar power plant uses a whopping 167 580 amorphous silicon thin-film photovoltaic panels. Not only is it the largest solar farm in South Africa but the largest to be completed in the Southern Hemisphere, the Middle East and Africa.
The Northern Cape is one of the hottest spots in South Africa which has some of the highest levels of irradiation levels across the globe; it is often referred to as a solar centre or hotbed. The farm generates an impressive 332 000 MWh.
In the region of about 2 000 jobs were created as a result of this project during construction and 100 employees are still employed.
George Airport – the first solar-powered airport on the continent of Africa
- George Airport is situated between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town
- Most of the energy that is utilised by this airport will be derived from a 200 square metre solar power plant that is situated on the grounds of the airport
- This solar power facility is made up of 3 000 photovoltaic components and over time the solar capacity will be able to deliver 750 kW of power when it reaches its full potential
- The project was created as part of the Department of Transport’s committing to lowering the load on the power grid with a view to creating sustainable facilities
The South African Government is making inroads by using solar power and wind power to transform South Africa resulting in fewer emissions and a low-carbon, climate–resistant economy. Solar and wind power, by comparison to using power from the grid, is already producing power at a lower cost.