Robben Is­land goes green

Public Sector Manager - - In Other News -

The launch of a R25 mil­lion so­lar­pow­ered mini-grid plant at Robben Is­land is the first step to­wards turn­ing the world her­itage site green.

This is ac­cord­ing to Tourism Min­is­ter Tokozile Xasa who re­cently un­veiled the so­lar pho­to­voltaic (PV) power plant, which has the ca­pac­ity to gen­er­ate 666.4 kilo Watt peak (kWp) of clean en­ergy, re­duc­ing the is­land's re­liance on the ex­ist­ing diesel gen­er­at­ing sys­tem.

The in­te­grated sys­tem car­ries the en­tire day­time elec­tric­ity load and pri­ori­tises so­lar PV en­ergy gen­er­a­tion, which is sup­ported by an 828 kilo Watt hours (kWh) bat­tery stor­age – en­abling the use of so­lar en­ergy on cloudy days and at night.

“This project is the first step in a longer term ini­tia­tive of green­ing the is­land and dis­cus­sions are al­ready un­der­way with the man­age­ment of Robben Is­land Mu­seum on the im­ple­men­ta­tion of a range of ad­di­tional en­ergy ef­fi­ciency projects,” she said.

Robben Is­land was se­lected as one of the eight govern­ment-owned at­trac­tions in the pi­lot ini­tia­tive to retro­fit tourism fa­cil­i­ties with so­lar PV en­ergy gen­er­at­ing sys­tems.

The other seven sites in­clude the Han­tam, Ka­roo Desert, Free State Na­tional Botanical Gar­dens, the Skukuza and Lower Sa­bie rest camps as well as the Tshok­wane and Nkuhlu pic­nic sites in Kruger Na­tional Park.

The re­new­able en­ergy sys­tem means that the Robben Is­land Mu­seum will not only be­come a more com­pet­i­tive and sus­tain­able tourism at­trac­tion, but will also save a sig­nif­i­cant amount in op­er­a­tional costs.

“It is es­ti­mated that the sys­tem will re­duce the use of diesel gen­er­a­tors by al­most 45 per­cent, which means that the an­nual diesel us­age will drop from around 619 000 litres to

344 000 litres, sav­ing the is­land about 275 000 litres of diesel per an­num.

“What we are there­fore look­ing at is that this project will save the fis­cus an es­ti­mated amount of al­most R5 mil­lion per an­num, which means that this project will pay it­self within five years,” she said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.