Mineral processing original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Multotec has installed a 223kW solar power generating system at one of its facilities in Spartan near Johannesburg, South Africa to deal with the ever rising cost of electricity in the country. According to the Group Manufacturing Executive, Werner Stessl, the organisation has been carefully monitoring its rising electricity costs and sought a responsible solution that would leverage the latest renewable energy technology.
“In collaboration with solar power experts Energy Capital, a thorough investigation of its energy consumption and available opportunities was conducted. After months of planning and research, it was established that we could run a battery-less system which would valuably augment our current municipal supply. Then after some structural engineering to prepare our designated roof areas, the panels were efficiently placed and linked up by mid-November last year,” he said.
20% of daily demand
The project entails 684 photovoltaic solar panels that were installed in November 2019. The system serves Multotec’s most energy-intensive works, its injection moulding facility; providing almost 20% of the daily electricity demand.
To date, the system has more than met Multotec’s expectations, which were contractually guaranteed by the service provider. The detailed upfront investigation showed that the installation could be repaid by energy savings within about four-and-a-half years. System performance; right down to the electricity generated by each PV solar panel, can be monitored daily on an online dashboard, he says.
Furthermore, the Manufacturing Executive added that the impact of the system is both economic and environmental. “Multotec is committed to environmental sustainability and we value the fact that this installation is likely to save about 30,000 kg of carbon dioxide emissions each month. This is equivalent to planting about 100 trees a month,” he affirmed.
The local municipality also benefits from the initiative by utilizing the ‘overflow’ power generated during the weekends at no cost.