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Black River Office Park installs biggest solar photovoltaic system in Southern Africa

Posted 04/11 by Admin

The largest roof-mounted solar photovoltaic system in Southern Africa is in the process of being installed at the Black River Office Park in Observatory, Cape Town.

Phase one of the installation (completed at the end of June 2013) is already bigger than any other power system of a similar nature in Southern Africa. By the time the second phase is installed at the end of this year, it will be double the size, in addition to being one of the most technologically advanced systems in the world.

The first phase sees 2 875 panels installed, and a further 2 050 panels being installed in phase two, with the entire system covering an area of 8 000 square meters – larger than the size of a rugby field.

Once completed, the entire operation will generate around 1.9 gigawatt (1.9 million kilowatt) hours per year, or enough energy to power 1000 average sized houses.

Black River Park supports 5 500 offices workers over a 76 000 m2 area, approximately equivalent to the Grade A office space in Claremont. The scale of the solar panel system will generate enough for tenants to significantly power their operations through green energy.

Commenting on the installation, developer and co-shareholder of Black River Park, Joubert Rabie, explained that the installation of the solar PV system had been planned for some time.

“It makes sense to run an operation that is green and sustainable, not only because of the impact that an operation has on the environment, but also from a good business practice point of view. The system will operate for a minimum of 25 years, but will pay back the costs for its installation within the first seven years.”

The system has been designed so that power usage throughout the park can be monitored and micro-managed. It has a built in power curtailment devices to ensure that no electricity is fed back onto the local grid system, should the energy generated at any point exceed the demand.

However, once legislation changes, over weekends and when power is not needed at Black River Park, the system will be able to supply power back into the grid, as well as providing standby power in the event of an outage.

The installation is also well positioned to take advantage of soon to be implemented carbon tax in South Africa, where the overall system could stand to benefit from the 1 725 tons of carbon dioxide saved each year by not having to rely on coal produced electricity.

The solar PV installation was one of the factors considered by the Green Building Council of South Africa prior to moving their offices to Black River Park.

“The opportunity for tenants to be able use green energy and potentially go off-grid, means that Black River Park meets some of the sustainable criteria for green building accreditation. This is an significant offering backed up by the evidence of many international branded companies already located at Black River Park including Adidas, Brandhouse, Oracle, Red Bull, AON, RGA insurance and the like , that chose to align themselves with international best business practice and sustainability standards,” commented Brian Wilkinson, CEO at the Green Building Council South Africa.

The solar PV system has been installed by SOLA Future Energy, a division of Aurora Power Solutions. It has been constructed using state-of-the art multi-crystalline silicon solar PV modules and comes with a guaranteed energy output.

Commenting on the system, Chris Haw Managing Director at SOLA Future Energy, explained that panels were placed so to as to maximize the potential energy generated. “The solar system has been designed to yield the optimal amount of energy based on the site conditions and produce energy at the source of where it is needed.”

The owners of Black River Park believe that this installation demonstrates that the operation is not only ahead of the curve, but also one which leads the way in sustainability and green practice.

“We started with ‘recycling’ the old buildings that form the core of our operation, and now this solar panel system is at the cutting edge of current green technology. In years to come we hope to continue this innovative thinking, and make this office park the first choice for tenants that want a sustainable business,” explained Rabie.

“We will continue to make Black River Park the first choice for tenants, and in particular for the tenants wishing to work in a sustainable and green environment.”

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Black River Office Park installs biggest solar photovoltaic system in Southern Africa

Posted 04/11 by Admin

The largest roof-mounted solar photovoltaic system in Southern Africa is in the process of being installed at the Black River Office Park in Observatory, Cape Town.

Phase one of the installation (completed at the end of June 2013) is already bigger than any other power system of a similar nature in Southern Africa. By the time the second phase is installed at the end of this year, it will be double the size, in addition to being one of the most technologically advanced systems in the world.

The first phase sees 2 875 panels installed, and a further 2 050 panels being installed in phase two, with the entire system covering an area of 8 000 square meters – larger than the size of a rugby field.

Once completed, the entire operation will generate around 1.9 gigawatt (1.9 million kilowatt) hours per year, or enough energy to power 1000 average sized houses.

Black River Park supports 5 500 offices workers over a 76 000 m2 area, approximately equivalent to the Grade A office space in Claremont. The scale of the solar panel system will generate enough for tenants to significantly power their operations through green energy.

Commenting on the installation, developer and co-shareholder of Black River Park, Joubert Rabie, explained that the installation of the solar PV system had been planned for some time.

“It makes sense to run an operation that is green and sustainable, not only because of the impact that an operation has on the environment, but also from a good business practice point of view. The system will operate for a minimum of 25 years, but will pay back the costs for its installation within the first seven years.”

The system has been designed so that power usage throughout the park can be monitored and micro-managed. It has a built in power curtailment devices to ensure that no electricity is fed back onto the local grid system, should the energy generated at any point exceed the demand.

However, once legislation changes, over weekends and when power is not needed at Black River Park, the system will be able to supply power back into the grid, as well as providing standby power in the event of an outage.

The installation is also well positioned to take advantage of soon to be implemented carbon tax in South Africa, where the overall system could stand to benefit from the 1 725 tons of carbon dioxide saved each year by not having to rely on coal produced electricity.

The solar PV installation was one of the factors considered by the Green Building Council of South Africa prior to moving their offices to Black River Park.

“The opportunity for tenants to be able use green energy and potentially go off-grid, means that Black River Park meets some of the sustainable criteria for green building accreditation. This is an significant offering backed up by the evidence of many international branded companies already located at Black River Park including Adidas, Brandhouse, Oracle, Red Bull, AON, RGA insurance and the like , that chose to align themselves with international best business practice and sustainability standards,” commented Brian Wilkinson, CEO at the Green Building Council South Africa.

The solar PV system has been installed by SOLA Future Energy, a division of Aurora Power Solutions. It has been constructed using state-of-the art multi-crystalline silicon solar PV modules and comes with a guaranteed energy output.

Commenting on the system, Chris Haw Managing Director at SOLA Future Energy, explained that panels were placed so to as to maximize the potential energy generated. “The solar system has been designed to yield the optimal amount of energy based on the site conditions and produce energy at the source of where it is needed.”

The owners of Black River Park believe that this installation demonstrates that the operation is not only ahead of the curve, but also one which leads the way in sustainability and green practice.

“We started with ‘recycling’ the old buildings that form the core of our operation, and now this solar panel system is at the cutting edge of current green technology. In years to come we hope to continue this innovative thinking, and make this office park the first choice for tenants that want a sustainable business,” explained Rabie.

“We will continue to make Black River Park the first choice for tenants, and in particular for the tenants wishing to work in a sustainable and green environment.”

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