About SolarWorld AG: SolarWorld AG manufactures solar power systems and in doing so contributes to a cleaner energy supply worldwide. The company, located in Bonn, employs approximately 2300 people and carries out production in Freiberg, Germany, and Hillsboro, USA. From raw material silicon to the solar module, SolarWorld manages all stages of production including its own research and development. Through an international distribution network, SolarWorld supplies customers all over the world with solar modules and complete systems. The company maintains high social standards at all locations across the globe, and has committed itself to resource- and energy-efficient production. SolarWorld has been publically traded on the stock market since 1999 and is quoted in the technology index TecDax. SolarWorld achieved sales of about one billion euros for the fiscal year 2011.
SolarWorld, together with distribution partner African Technical Innovations, supplied and installed the Western Cape’s first and largest roof-mounted photovoltaic (PV) system in the agricultural sector to date at the Ceres Koelkamers. A pioneer in the sector, the fruit and vegetable cooling facility in Ceres saw the installation of a 508kWp system completed in record speed between 19 November 2012 and 17 January 2013.
SolarWorld supplied 2117 SW240 poly PV panels for the array spanning two cold storage buildings covering an area of approximately 3800m2. The installation is expected to generate 848 000kWh per year for the cold storage facilities to refrigerate harvested produce. The facility consumes around
5 000 000kWh per year and the installation will save the facility approximately 17% of their annual electricity bill, off-setting the carbon emissions by 839.52 tons of CO2 per year for more than twenty-five years.
With guaranteed performance over 25 years and strict financial key performance indicators of kWh(s) generated per kW installed, kWh/kWp, we could assure Ceres Koelkamers that their investment would deliver a feasible ROI,” says Gregor Küpper, SolarWorld Africa’s Managing Director.
Ceres Koelkamers made this landmark decision to opt for solar power for the reason that the region does not have water or wind in great supply but the sunshine hours are high. In comparison to other renewable energies, solar power provides calculable, 25-year maintenance-free yields. Additionally, the greatest cooling is required at the time of the highest regional irradiation, namely the summer months when the system performs at its peak and generates the greatest amount of electricity.
“It was purely a question of time before somebody would take the first step and install a system of this size in the agricultural sector. We wanted to be the first. Ceres Koelkamers is a business which has been in existence for many years. We have faith in the South African agricultural industry and are confident that we will be in business for many more years to come. It’s for these reasons that we are investing in high quality products with a long lifespan and the capacity to produce clean electricity for 25 to 30 years and more,” says Francis Matthee, Managing Director of Ceres Koelkamers.
The project was implemented by African Technical Innovations (Pty) Ltd based in Ceres. ATI is an alternative energy, consultancy-based business, owned and managed by Kobus Engelbrecht (Mechanical Engineer, Stellenbosch). Engelbrecht advised Ceres Koelkamers on the business case for this installation. “We wanted to get the best product at the lowest prices, with a 25 year linear performance guarantee in order to justify the capital investment. With the best quality product on the market, SolarWorld still presented the best financial case as well,” adds Engelbrecht. The project qualified and was supported by Eskom’s Integrated Demand Management (IDM) Programme. The programme’s focus is to ensure short-term security of electricity supply through coordinating and consolidating the various initiatives aimed at optimising energy use and balancing electricity supply and demand.
More information at www.solarworld.com.