South Africa: Manufacturing Sector Invests in Solar to Offset Energy Demand

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  • With electricity costs increasing, solar energy efficiency for businesses is a low-risk investment, yielding substantial rewards, particularly for high day-time energy users.

Manufacturing companies like South Africa’s Sheffield Manufacturing in Durban, are increasingly turning to solar as a way to supplement energy needs, go green and bring costs down, says Lance Green of SolarSaver, a provider of customised rooftop solar photovoltaic solutions through a unique rent-to-own model.

SolarSaver has just completed a 130 kW grid-tied solar photovoltaic (PV) system with 330 solar panels at Sheffield Manufacturing, a producer of multiple ranges of high-quality stainless-steel goods under the Powerflow Exhausts and Citiware Holloware and Sanware brands.

According to Green, the manufacturing company was an ideal candidate for a grid-tied solar installation due to its location in an open area with minimal high-rise buildings and trees, it’s large roof space and it’s needed for mainly day-time electricity usage.

“Manufacturing firms often operate out of buildings with sizeable, flat roofs and these spaces are perfect for setting up a large number of solar panels,” he noted, adding that installation is a quick process and this project took just under two weeks, with minimal disruption to the business.”

With zero installation costs, fully inclusive maintenance, monitoring and insurance, and flexible purchase rights, the solar solutions provider makes it possible for manufacturing companies to ‘rent the sun’.

Landlord and retired former partner in Sheffield Manufacturing, Kevin Buckley, said: “The business uses a significant amount of electricity during the production process – a major overhead cost. The installation of solar PV systems will bring this cost down considerably.”

Buckley added: “SolarSaver’s model also removes the need for an initial capital outlay on installing the solar system, a real game-changer. It makes complete sense. The professionalism and quality of service from SolarSaver has been outstanding.”

It is expected that solar PV energy will be the fastest-growing renewable technology by 2022.

Green highlighted: “It’s important to take a long-term view and consider the challenges we face with consistent power supply. Installing a solar solution means businesses can get immediate cost-saving benefits, as well as the potential to install batteries and go off-grid in the future. But beyond this, companies like Sheffield Manufacturing are keen to embrace sustainable practices.”

Author: Babalwa Bungane

This article was originally published on ESI Africa and is republished with permission with minor editorial changes.


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