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George Municipal building going solar

The Main Municipal building in York Street will within the next three months have completed the installation of a 300 kilo-Watt Peak grid tied PV generating plant at the officials parking area. The service provider has already started with site establishment  and the project will be implemented in three phases ending June 2021.

The PV plant will reduce the peak load demand of the main building and reduce the amount of electricity purchased from Eskom. The plant will also enable the building to meet carbon emission reduction targets by powering most of the required load with energy generated from a clean and renewable source. The total savings in carbon dioxide emissions, would be in the region of 9027 tonnes of CO2 over the plants 25 year lifetime. In addition, the steel structures on which the PV modules will be mounted on will serve as covered carports for municipal vehicles.  500 000 kilo Watt Hours (kWh) of energy is expected to be produced by the PV plant annually, and the system is projected to pay itself off within 7 years of the 25 year estimated lifetime.

Executive Mayor Leon Van Wyk noted the significance of this step towards self-sufficiency for the municipality. “The 500 000 kilowatt-hour of electricity that the PV plant will generate annually is the equivalent of the power consumption of 55 households using 25 kwh of electricity per day (or approximately 9000 kwh pa). In overall terms this represents just over 0,1% of the George Municipality’s total annual sales of almost 500 million kwh of electricity. This is nevertheless the first significant small step we are taking towards self-sufficiency in electricity supply. There will be more. We thank our dedicated officials for the work they are undertaking to help us learn more about this journey into new technology”, said Ald Van Wyk.

The project is funded by the Department of Energy under the Energy Efficiency Demand Side Management (EEDSM) programme. The current public parking area located immediately in front of the municipal building will not be affected during the construction at all.

In the photograph on site at the municipal parking area are from left, Marlene Matthews, Senior Manager Administration Electrotechnical Services; Acting Municipal Manager Dr Michele Gratz; Executive Mayor Leon Van Wyk;  Portfolio Councillor for Electrotechnical Services, Nosicelo Mbete; Ben August, Senior Manager Electrotechnical Services and Candidate Engineer (Intern) for Electrotechnical Services, Thabo Yiga who was responsible for preparing the tender documentations, preliminary designs and will be managing the project.