Construction of South Africa’s Largest Agri-Solar Plant by Sunfarming

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German company Sunfarming with financial backing from DEG/K fW has commenced a project which aims to build South Africa’s Largest Agri-Solar Plant. This groundbreaking initiative spans an impressive 30,000 square meters and is set to achieve dual goals: Facilitating the production of clean energy and the promotion of food production for more rural populations from Potchefstroom to Pretoria.


The Strategic Plan proposed for this plant makes it possible for the land to be used in two ways. PV devices are optimally installed to harness solar energy for electricity while the same land also used for agricultural production. It also creates a conducive environment for crops since most of the weather conditions associated with energy production are extreme to the crops, thus forming a supporting relationship between energy production and agriculture. The advantages of this dual-use approach are numerous and may have positive implications for the local communities as well.


German company Sunfarming with financial backing from DEG/K fW has commenced a project which aims to build South Africa’s Largest Agri-Solar Plant


One of the primary focuses of the project is ensuring that there is job creation and that education programs are offered. Some locals are also being employed for different jobs and assignments, for example in the construction and maintenance of the solar plant, its operation, and agricultural tasks like sowing and reaping and irrigation. The projects do not only bring back economic activities in the region but also boost the skills of the locals on renewable energy technologies and sustainable agriculture.




Some preparatory work for the agri-solar plant is already underway. Tables have been set for Agri-PV, SF PV semi-transparent modules have been installed on them and preparation for water supply well has been done. Construction is also being done for training facilities that will be fitted with all that is required for training. After this local winter season the next step of the project will be the construction of water-saving irrigation system and shading nets which seems to be rather important for increasing the level of agricultural productivity for the lack of water supply.


The optimal use of land and resources is the key to Sunfarming’s operational success. The agri-solar is a concept of creating energy, environmental and agricultural infrastructure that is beneficial in environmental conservation, sustainable energy production and supports local farming, especially in the arid regions of South Africa and the world. This project serves as an excellent example showing us how modern technologies and environmentally responsible farming can change the lives of rural people for the better.


Land used for biofuels production fulfills important and urgent purposes – it serves the energy and food security demands simultaneously. It guarantees the uninterrupted production of natural energy and at the same time promotes food safety. The local communities’ beneficiaries are not only for the infrastructure and resources but also for the knowledge and skills that are availed through the training programmes offered in the project. Education and employment go hand in hand as a way of empowering the locals and this is one of the steps the project will take towards ensuring long-term sustainability.


Sunfarming and its partners are committed to designing and creating innovative solutions for future energy production while preserving an optimal balance between people and nature with special attention to agriculture. And also even after the initial project period is over, DEG/KfW co-financed Agri-PV training project will carry on. They will be administered by the non-profit companies FEED LTD South Africa and FEED e. V. Deutschland in perpetuity to address the future needs of the communities.


South Africa’s Largest Agri-Solar Plant is a showcase and a blueprint of how desirable and sustainable innovations can be developed and executed to meet large and small-scale challenges concerning energy and food production.

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