Greener future for Stellenpak with solar power

Greener future for Stellenpak with solar power

In a bid to contain rising electricity prices, Stellenpak Fruit Packers has invested R6.6m in a SolarWorld solar power system.

The 420 kWp state-of-the art roof-top system will produce 600MWh per year. It was installed mid-2014 by Energyworx for its packing and refrigeration systems to keep its plums, pears, apples and citrus fruits at a moderate temperature, especially during the summer months.

Robert Saunders, Technical Manager of Stellenpak, said, “Our largest single consideration for the installation was to reduce our electricity bill by 15% of the energy as well as contain rising electricity costs over the 25 year guaranteed lifespan of the system.

“We also saw the opportunity to reduce our carbon production and mitigate future impacts of carbon tax, one of several green laws the South African government is planning to impose to reduce carbon emissions in light of climate change.”
Energyworx, an integrator of roof-mounted solar electricity in South Africa designed the system over an area of 2 744m². It comprises 1,680 SolarWorld SW 250 Poly modules with 21 Steca 20 000 TL3 Grid Tied inverters. No power is stored in the system.
Andre Potgieter, CEO of Energyworx, said, “Fruit packing facilities are well suited for solar electricity. They are dependent on cooling systems with energy load profiles that are a perfect match for solar. During summer, when they need to work the hardest to keep temperatures constant, the solar panels performance is also at their peak. This greatly reduces the high demand that would otherwise be placed on coal-powered electricity."

“To reduce Stellenpak’s electricity bill, we analysed its consumption profile and designed the solar electricity system to match their load without exporting power to the grid.”

Gregor Küpper, Managing Director of SolarWorld South Africa added, “High production cost is one of the agricultural sector’s greatest challenges. We are delighted that our partner Energyworx has chosen SolarWorld technology on this project that supports the Western Cape’s fruit packing industry to reduce its energy costs.”

Energyworx is making significant strides in supporting key players of the local agricultural sector to become even greener. In the last two years, it has completed SolarWorld installations worth around R12-million at Bo-Radyn Boerdery Villiersdorp, Blu-Jay Juice in Stellenbosch and Stellenpak.

Concludes Gregor, “The cumulative reduction in electricity demand from non-renewable energy over the coming 25 years will far exceed this investment. It will also make a positive contribution to the sustainability of the Western Cape’s agricultural sector ahead of the roll-out of carbon tax. South Africa has some of the highest sun radiation levels in the world and is therefore capable of being a world leader in harnessing the power of the sun to gain a competitive advantage. ” 

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