First Solar announced that its advanced module technology has been selected to power a new rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant for BKB Limited in South Africa. The 468 Kilowatt (kW) project is under construction at BKB Limited’s head office in Port Elizabeth and is expected to supply between 20% and 30% percent of the building’s annual site demand.
The power plant is expected to produce 750,000kWh of energy per annum, equivalent to the energy needs of approximately 200 average South African homes. The project is being engineered and constructed by Rhino Energy, a South African company specializing in the installation and engineering of renewable energy solutions. The project will take a maximum of six weeks to complete, from the start of construction to commissioning and handover.
Wolf Edmayr, Managing Director of BKB Limited, said, “BKB Limited is intimately aware of how vulnerable the agricultural sector is to the impact of climate change. The decision to reduce our environmental impact through solar technology was a natural and strategically important decision for the group. The implementation of a solar PV system not only reduces BKB’s carbon footprint and hedges against sharply rising electricity costs, but is also an imperative in lowering the carbon intensity of the natural fibres that we supply into international markets.”
“By consciously selecting solar energy to address its energy needs, BKB has contributed to the energy transition that is redefining global energy portfolios. This project is part of a broader response by corporations around the world that are actively fulfilling their commitment to be environmentally- and socially-aware, while also hedging against rising energy costs,” said Nasim Khan, Vice President for Africa at First Solar. “We applaud BKB for leading by example and for establishing a new benchmark in renewable energy for South Africa’s business community.”
Dr. Stuart Fredman, Managing Director of Rhino Energy added, “The First Solar panels were the ideal solution for us as they offer highly predictable energy in all climates and applications, and are smaller and much lighter than any other available technologies, without compromising in any way on the efficiency and energy yield required. This makes the installation faster as well as safer when working on a roof structure, while at the same time ensuring that the client still achieves the fastest energy payback time.”