The South African subsidiary of Multotec has built a small solar power plant to supply electricity to its factory in the town of Spartan, near Johannesburg. The plant also supplies electricity to the local grid.
Multotec wants to reduce its environmental impact in South Africa. The company, which specialises in the manufacture of equipment for the mining industry, has installed a small photovoltaic solar power plant at its plant in Spartan (near the city of Johannesburg). The power plant, built on its rooftop, consists of 684 solar panels and is capable of producing 223 kWp.
“After months of planning and research, it was determined that we could operate a batteryless system that would significantly increase our current supply. After carrying out structural engineering work to prepare our designated roof areas, the panels were placed and efficiently connected as early as mid-November last year (2019),” explains Werner Stessl, Production Manager of the Multotec Group. According to this manager, the performance of the system – and even the output of each individual solar module – can be monitored daily on an online dashboard.
The small solar power plant supplies 20 percent of the electricity needs of the Multotec plant. The new installation allows the company to reduce its environmental impact. Most importantly, the solar power plant saves Multotec’s electricity bills and provides electricity to the community. The power plant needs less electricity on weekends. At that time, the output from the small solar power plant is fed into the local power grid “at no cost to the municipality”.
Multotec’s solar project was carried out in collaboration with Energy Capital, a South African company that designs, finances and implements solar off grid, energy efficiency and water projects in South Africa. The Multotec Group estimates that the investment in the construction of the facility could be repaid through energy savings in about four and a half years. In the meantime, the electricity it produces should secure the production of its plant, given the difficulties encountered by the electricity grid of the South African company Eskom.
Jean Marie Takouleu