The integrated system carries the entire daytime electricity load and prioritises solar PV energy generation. This is by an 828 kilo Watt hours (kWh) battery storage – enabling the use solar energy on cloudy days and at night.
The solar PV mini-grid has the capacity of generating 666.4 kilo Watt peak (kWp) of clean energy. As a result, reducing the island’s reliance on diesel generating system. The PV mini-grid is going to save 235 000 litres of diesel per annum or 50% of previous usage.
“What we are therefore looking at is that this project will save the fiscal an estimated amount of almost R5 million per annum. Therefore, this means that the project will pay itself within five years,” she said.
Robben Island solar mini-grid designers
The micro-grid solar project was designed and constructed by Sola Future Energy. This is the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) partner of the department of tourism, using CS6U- 340M Canadian Solar modules.
According to Dom Wills, CEO of SOLA Future Energy, “the microgrid on Robben Island is the largest solar and lithium-ion storage microgrid system in South Africa.”
He further added that, “for Robben Island, we have chosen our partners carefully. This is mainly because we wanted to ensure highest quality, safety and sustainability. As a result, Canadian Solar as a module supplier, the natural fit, making a difference in lighting up Africa and Robben Island together. After this PV installation, a reduction of the Island’s carbon emission by at least 820 tons is achievable.