South African real estate firm Ascension Properties is installing its first solar photovoltaic (PV) in Cape Town in a bid to reap financial rewards of green energy over the long-term.
The move will see the use of the embedded generation scheme available in Cape Town to enable the solar installation to feed any surplus electricity, produced by the PV system, back into the municipal electrical grid.
“With our main focus area being on civil servants, we consider this a necessity not only in our commitment to sustainable energy solutions but also towards a move which will bring in healthy returns on investment for us as well as for our tenants.
Alternative source of energy is key, especially with the escalating price of electricity, green-focused solutions if put in place will help reduce expenses,” said newly appointed CEO of Ascension, Kameel Keshav.
He said that sustainable energy solutions is a trend that is increasingly being adopted all over the property sector in South Africa.
The project will save the country a yearly minimum of 230 tons of CO2 emissions. The solar plant comprises of 450 modules summing up to 140kWp. The rooftop mounted system provides around 235MWh in the first year, representing around 28% of the electrical consumption of the building.
“We designed this project from an owner’s perspective; optimizing the yield and the financial returns of the project over it 25 years lifetime,” said Cristian Cernat, director of Tritec South Africa and Voltas Technologies.
He added that solar photovoltaic is a consistent source of energy and very cost-effective.
Cernat said that such solar ventures have become a sound investment for many commercial and industrial buildings with the cost of solar energy being lower than the usual purchasing cost of electricity.
“Such projects decrease the energy operation costs of buildings and added overall value to the properties. The price of solar electricity is basically fixed after installation therefore having low operational costs, thus allowing for more predictable and stable energy operation costs for the coming years,” Cernat added.