“These panels will be married into Sun City’s internal electrical network to feed the power produced on the roof to the points of delivery. Sun City is like a little town on its own and the solar capacity is part of the energy mix,” said TM Lesetla, national energy engineer at Tsebo Energy Solutions which installed the system.
“This is an equivalent of what 329 average-sized South African households consume over a year. On good sunshine days, which will be most days, the facility will free up an equivalent of 14% of Sun City’s electrical demand from the national utility supplier Eskom, which will be to the benefit of the grid in the vicinity and, by extension, local communities that feed off the same supply,” said Sun City general manager Brett Hoppé.
The solar plant will also see Sun City reduce its annual CO2 equivalent emissions by an estimated 2,510 tons per annum.
“This is one of the many initiatives that Sun City in particular, and Sun international, are rolling out to reduce energy use both from a supply and demand perspective. Efficient lighting, HVAC retrofits and reconfigurations, water-heating and a gradual move to renewables all form part of the plan,” said Hoppé.
The investment is expected to pay for itself within five years, driven by above-average annual electricity price escalations. The plant has an anticipated lifespan of beyond 25 years when coupled with a well-planned preventative maintenance regime.