Agriculture Trends 2020

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Fair Cape saves electricity through solar-powered milking

Fair Cape has produced and saved over 144,000 kilowatt-hours of coal-derived electricity through solar-power energy over the past 12 months, which it uses to power milking during daylight hours.

While producing 84, 000 litres of milk per day, the commercial dairy has still managed to save approximately 145,46 tonnes of carbon emissions since the panels were installed on 24 October 2018, effectively preventing more than 50,000 kilograms of coal from being burned.

Marketing director, Louis Loubser says that the company is delighted with the savings and reducing the company’s environmental footprint. "As a company, we are totally committed to environmental stewardship and reducing our impact on the environment. This initiative is part of that commitment. In addition, we’ve reduced our reliance on Eskom by almost 20%, which means that we’ve been able to continue our milking operations during the recent power outages."

"This project means that we can milk our cows off-grid during all daylight hours. We know that the sun will rise every morning and provide an energy source which cannot run out," he explained.

"Also of paramount importance for us is that the production of solar energy does not generate any noise pollution, which contributes to the comfortable, stress-free environment we create for our cows," added Loubser.

"The solar system will generate over 160,000 kWh of clean energy per year," said Dr Chris Haw, chairperson of Sola Future Energy, that developed and own the system. "Businesses that commit to clean energy, such as Fair Cape Dairies, are helping to lead the way for South Africa’s sustainable development."

The company hopes to roll solar power out to its production facility in the near future, further reducing its carbon footprint and its dependence on South Africa’s power utility.
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