The island, which once held the likes of former President Nelson Mandela and struggle stalwarts Walter Sisulu and Ahmed Kathrada, amongst others, will be a pilot site for the department's plan to roll out solar power to botanical gardens, South African National Parks and World Heritage sites during the current term of office.
Delivering his department's Budget Vote Speech on Thursday, Minister Hanekom said the installation of solar power at the island will take place during the current financial year.
"The exciting part of the retrofitting programme is that it contributes towards our countrywide effort to reduce the electricity demand and to start shifting towards efficient energy use and renewable energy use.
"We will be introducing this component of the incentive programme on a pilot basis this year and it will involve the introduction of renewable energy at mainly our botanical gardens, at SA National Parks and at some of our world heritage sites.
"It will also include some of our community-based projects, particularly those that don't have immediate access to the grid," he said.
The retrofitting programme is part of the R180 million Tourism Incentive Programme, aimed at advancing the sector's transformation, growing enterprises and developing tourism attractions.
As part of the retrofitting programme, the department will assess the needs of these establishments and then install photovoltaic panels (PV).
The Minister said the panels will be South African intellectual property-owned technology and the bulk of the components will be South African components.
"One of the pilot sites will be Robben Island and this will be done this year.
"Robben Island as we speak depends entirely on diesel generated electricity. We will shift them completely from diesel generated electricity to solar generated electricity," he said.