Work on RDM’s solar farm at the Somerset West facility in South Africa

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Construction is underway for an R72 million RDM solar farm at the Somerset West facility in South Africa. The project is developed by Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) as part of its objective to be carbon neutral by 2035. Additionally, with this project, RDM aims to be independent of load shedding.

The Western Cape’s Premier, Alan Winde, and the CEO of Rheinmetall AG, Armin Papperger, attended the event marking the facility’s groundbreaking on April 26.

According to Papperger, Rheinmetall is laying the groundwork. This will enable them to open up fresh business areas at the site in order to continue operating successfully in the future. They will also be able to expand the company’s position in global markets. At the same time, he added that they are contributing to the well-being and humane future of all.

The plant has a high chance of exporting clean surplus energy back to the grid.

The completion of the RDM’s solar farm at the Somerset West facility in South Africa

It is said that the new 5-megawatt (MW) solar power plant will be finished by the end of the year. Also, the plant will be able to power the Somerset West activities of RDM. RDM seeks to build comparable solutions for each of its operations around the country.

Jan-Patrick Helmsen, CEO of Rheinmetall Denel Munition, stated that they are installing 9,204 solar panels. The installed panels will have the potential to generate more than 4.2 million watts of AC power for Somerset activities. He claimed that they opted to invest in solar power plants to reduce their carbon footprints.

To sustain solar PV power production and create a mini power grid, they are integrating the solar power plant with a completely automated backup power generation infrastructure. This will make sure that load shedding won’t affect their operation. For sustainability and energy security, using renewable energy in their operations has become crucial.

Read also:25-year PPA signed for new 85MW solar power plant in South Africa

According to Helmsen, load shedding significantly impacted the company last year and cost RDM a lot of money.

Winde commended Rheinmetall for contributing to the energy solution. He also stated that the Western Cape is working to minimize load shedding in four towns in the province using renewable energy.

Through the localization of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, the export of green hydrogen, as well as the establishment of mobile green hydrogen plants as an independent power solution for various uses, RDM is positioning itself as an energy provider in South Africa for Africa and for the export market.

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