Crypto investor uses bitcoin to fund solar project at Pretoria Boys High

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  • A crypto investor has used bitcoin to fund a large solar project that will provide clean and affordable solar energy to Pretoria Boys’ High School in South Africa.
  • By using the Sun Exchange platform to purchase 98% of all solar cells in the project, the individual will earn income for 20 years on the clean energy they generate, while the school gains solar power at zero capital cost.

The 198 kilowatt solar system will cut 5,800 tonnes of carbon over 20 years, equivalent to taking 210,000 petroleum cars off the road for a year. It will reduce the school’s energy bills and, critically, reduce the education leader’s reliance on diesel generators during scheduled power outages, which have become a feature of South Africa’s ongoing energy crisis.

Sun Exchange hosts solar crowdsales for schools, retirement homes, farms and other organisations on its online platform, allowing any individual or business to buy solar cells (in bitcoin or regular currency) that power organisations in sunny, emerging markets. The organisations being solar powered pay for the clean energy generated. Solar cell owners can elect to receive their monthly income in either bitcoin or South African Rand, paid into an online wallet provided by the platform.

Founded in 1901, the prestigious state-run boys’ school in Pretoria provides over 1,500 students with a world class education. Among its noteworthy alumni of Rhodes scholars, supreme court judges, archbishops, business leaders and sporting heroes are 2021 Booker Prize Winner Damon Galgut, tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, international cricketer Mark Fish, and Max Theiler, who won the Nobel Prize for his vaccine against yellow fever.

“We are thrilled that an old boy of the school and crypto enthusiast has joined our sustainability journey,” said Greg Hassenkamp, Headmaster of Pretoria Boys High School. “Clean energy will benefit our entire campus, including our classrooms, laboratories, and special venues. At the same time the project will reduce our energy costs and carbon footprint, while also showcasing the significant influence of technology and innovation as the school heads towards a greener future.”

Author: Bryan Groenendaal


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Green Building Africa promotes the need for net carbon zero buildings and cities in Africa. We are fiercely independent and encourage outlying thinkers to contribute to the #netcarbonzero movement. Climate change is upon us and now is the time to react in a more diverse and broader approach to sustainability in the built environment. We challenge architects, property developers, urban planners, renewable energy professionals and green building specialists. We also challenge the funding houses and regulators and the role they play in facilitating investment into green projects. Lastly, we explore and investigate new technology and real-time data to speed up the journey in realising a net carbon zero environment for our children.

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