Rooibos Ltd., the global market leader in rooibos tea production, opted for the installation of a 511kWp SolarWorld solar installation on the roofs of their storage facilities in the Cederberg region. With a global market share of over 70%, Rooibos Ltd. also supplies major South African brands such as Twinings and Freshpak Rooibos.
“Rooibos Ltd.’s commitment to sustainability through the use of renewable energy signals a tipping point in the agri-food industry. Rooibos Ltd. will not only benefit from a solar system with a guaranteed performance over the next 25 years but it will see a payback on invested capital in the next seven to eight years”, says Gregor Küpper, SolarWorld Africa Managing Director.
The installation, expected to generate 875 000 kWh per year, will subsidise Rooibos Ltd.’s total electricity usage by 43%, reducing CO2 emissions by 866.53 tons.
“The implementation of this project will allow Rooibos Ltd. to provide their suppliers with a product that has a lowered carbon footprint. This is important as exporters in the agri-food sector are being required to measure and take actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their supply chains in the European Union and the United States of America”, says Kobus Engelbrecht, Managing Director of African Technical Innovations.
Cooling with solar energy
Ceres Koelkamers, a fresh produce cooling facility which is a pioneer in the agricultural sector, saw the installation of a 508kWp SolarWorld system completed in record speed between 19 November 2012 and 17 January 2013. The facility consumes around 5 000MWh 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. Ceres Koelkamers made this landmark decision to opt for solar power because sunshine hours in the region are high. The greatest cooling is required at the time of the highest regional irradiation, namely in summer when the system performs at its peak and generates the greatest amount of electricity.
“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 the high quality products of SolarWorld which have 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.
Modules for a better climate
SolarWorld Africa’s’ partner African Technical Innovations (Pty) Ltd, has commenced installation of the largest South African agricultural rooftop solar system (1.015MWp) for Ceres Fruit Growers (Pty) Ltd.
The 4060 SW250 SolarWorld polycrystalline panels are being installed on the north-facing roofs of Ceres Fruit Grower’s (CFG) atmospherically-controlled complexes. The SolarWorld system will supply the electrical grid however most of the power will be consumed by one of the refrigeration compressor rooms at CFG during the peak season. The colossal 54-hectare complex handles more than 110 000 tons of apples and pears annually and operates more than 100 cold stores.
“The major reason influencing our decision to install a solution of this size, was to fix our electricity costs during the electricity tariff increases of at least 11% which are about to commence. Considering that we consume approximately 29.7 million kWh of electricity annually, this will result in considerable savings.” says Managing Director of Ceres Fruit Growers (Pty) Ltd., Francois Malan.
“SolarWorld is proud to be associated with companies and organizations of such high calibre that have committed to a cleaner environment and a reduced carbon footprint through the use of renewable energy”, says Gregor Küpper.
- Timberlea Farming Trust: Timberlea Farming Trust, a group most well-known internationally for their blueJay branded fruit, recently installed 127kWp. The group produces stone, pome and citrus fruits for Woolworths, Marks & Spencer’s, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose. The poly crystalline solar panels will subsidise 30% of the farm’s total electrical output and save 213 tons of carbon per annum.
- Bosman Family Wines: The Bosman Family, with a wine legacy spanning eight generations, installed 88 kWp SolarWorld modules on the roof of a wine cellar and the administrative offices. Within the wine farming industry the use of solar technology makes viable business and environmental sense as cooling takes place generally when the sun shines. The installation is expected to generate 147 871kWh per year and it will off-set carbon emissions by 141.5 tons.
- Dube Tradeport: SolarWorld supplied the largest rooftop installation in Africa to date for the Dube TradePort’s ‘Agrizone’ near Port Elizabeth. The 630kWp installed over the roofs of two AgriZone pack houses power the cold storage facilities, the packing lines, packing equipment, offices and storage facilities.