The building of the solar PV plant at Emperors Palace was completed by Terra Firma Solutions, a leading energy engineering solution provider who first conducted a detailed study to ensure that the roof could support the weight of the solar panels and associated equipment. As a result, the plant was split up into smaller plants (arrays), across different roof sections. The study also entailed an analysis of the electrical demand of the site and due to its scale, it was concluded that all the solar power produced, will be utilised by Emperors Palace directly.
Says Ed Gluckman, Managing Director of Terra Firma Solutions, “The solar PV plant at Emperors Palace is one of the largest; if not the largest rooftop solar PV plants built to date on a hospitality and gaming site in South Africa and quite possibly the entire Southern Hemisphere. At peak production, the solar PV plant is expected to produce 38 to 45% of Emperors Palace’s electricity power requirement.”
All in all, 8 949 modules (solar panels) have been installed which covers approximately 17 000 square meters of roof which includes a 1.1 MW shaded parking structure. A total of 68 inverters have been installed along with 42km’s meters of cabling to connect the various arrays at 11 different tie-in points to the various buildings. To put this into context, the annual power production of the solar plant could power 1 000 standard, 3 bedroomed family homes for a year.
“We are extremely excited about the practical implications of the new solar PV plant. By reducing the energy consumption for Emperors Palace, we are contributing to significant carbon footprint savings per annum, proving that Peermont is a leader in innovation. But this initiative is just one of our key priorities and we have a dedicated sustainability programmes to reduce the group’s energy and water consumption, decrease waste and promote recycling,” Milne concludes.