Cape Town Tackles “Load Shedding” With Rooftop Solar

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Written by Kevin Mwanza

In late 2014, South African city of Cape Town signed up with Black River Park, a building complex that’s home to more than 110 international companies, to supply solar powered electricity to other businesses in the coastal town.

Many businesses are now moving to using alternative energy sources in the wake of a country wide power rationing known as “Load Shedding” as South Africa’s aging power grid gets upgraded to keep up with growing demand from consumers.

More private energy producers have started generating solar power and feeding it to the national grid as a business.

“This really indicate how forward thinking the city of Cape Town was,” Joubert Rabie, developer and co-shareholder in Black River Park, told CCTV Africa.

“This long-term guaranteed income is fantastic from an investor’s point of view. For 20 years the production of the panels is guaranteed and it quietly sits on the roof making money,” he added.

According to ESI Africa, the 1.2 megawatts Black River Park solar project is the largest integrated PV plant in Africa, and the first to legally transmit electricity back into the City of Cape Town’s electrical distribution network.

It is also one of the world’s largest roof mounted solar PV systems on the continent, with the capacity to generate just under 2 million kWh annually from approximately 5,500 modules.