The 1’806 solar PV panels are expected to deliver some 2’128’149 kWh of energy per annum, equating to 15.6% of the total electrical energy requirement of the factory for the full year.
This move is in line with Nestle’s 2030 ambition to achieve zero environmental impact in its operations and net zero emissions by 2050.
This is Nestlé's second significant renewable energy project at a factory in the region, with its Harrismith manufacturing plant having been completed in August 2022 and sized with a capacity of 1’189kW, including a ground-mounted system and additional solar PV capacity on the roofs of the new carport structures.
In Harrismith, the 1’946 solar PV panels are expected to deliver some 1’714’191 kWh of energy per annum - 10% of the total electrical energy requirement of the factory for the full year. The system will generate approximately 45% of the factory’s demand during daylight hours.
“One of the key messages coming out of the COP27 climate conference was the importance of action and implementation to advance climate action. As a business, we firmly believe that taking action however big or small throughout our value chain, is how we will begin to make an impact on the climate crisis.
“We also believe that there is an opportunity to decrease GHG emissions through an increase in low-emission and renewable energy. Nestlé commits to having a strategy to procure 100% of electricity from renewable sources within the shortest practical timescale. The first phase of the renewable projects pegged to deliver just over 3% of Nestlé ESAR's power requirements has gone online,” says Xolile White, technical director at Nestlé ESAR.
The second phase of the renewable energy projects is set to add five additional development sites; extending Babelegi’s second phase expansion to 1’500’000kWh, or 11% of annual electricity requirement for the factory. Additional sites are East London, Estcourt, Potchefstroom, and the Nestlé Quality Assurance Centre in Johannesburg. These are expected to deliver a total combined capacity of 5.7GW, which is 5% of Nestlé ESAR’s energy requirements.
White adds, “In this critical moment for our planet, we are committed to finding solutions that deliver tangible results to the business. Therefore, we are multidisciplinary in our approach, aiming to transform many touchpoints across our value chain. From the energy we use in our operations as seen with this initiative, to carbon capture technology that converts flue gases to green products, to regenerative agriculture practises that reduce emission.
“All these interventions, together forming our RE sustainability initiative with the pillars of REthink, REduce and Repurpose. This renewable energy intervention is part of our intentional strides towards reducing carbon emissions across our manufacturing value chain to net zero by 2050,” he continued.”
“We believe that this will help in energising the region’s increased efforts towards energy security, this way Nestlé Cremora and Maggi 2-minute Noodles not only remain tastier but also contribute to making better the environment,” he concluded.