The Constantia Village upgrades to solar - News | 110% Green

The Constantia Village upgrades to solar

18 January 2017
Solar PV system generates savings of around R1.7m annually. 
Image credit: SA Venues

Image credit: SA Venues

Shopping centres are big consumers of electricity, a large chunk often used on lighting and air conditioning. Naturally this means that retail centres have the potential to make a big difference to both the sustainability of our environment as well as the stability of the national grid through energy efficiency measures.

When Growthpoint Properties Limited, the owners and managers of The Constantia Village, decided it was time to utilise the centre's large roof space, no time was wasted. By the end of 2015, and in less than 7 weeks, a 814 kWp solar PV system was installed by Sola Future Energy. The system is expected to produce around 1.3 million kWh per year and has the ability to generate in excess of 40% of the centre's total power requirements during peak solar generating periods.

What does kWh and kWp mean? 

kWp  (Kilowatts peak) : The peak performance of the solar electricity system (for example at noon or on a sunny day).

kWh (Kilowatt hours): The total amount of electricity the system actually generates in a year. 

110% Green spoke to Dom Chennells, the Financial Director of Sola Future Energy. He shared some information on savings and payback and how the system has benefited The Constantia Village:

  • The plant generates annual savings of around R1.7m on the centre's existing electricity bill and has a payback period of 6-7 years.
  • The PV modules provide increased roofing insulation which slows heat build-up in the centre.  The reduced heat load significantly reduces air conditioning loads which further diminishes electricity consumption.
  • The owners are able to maximise on electricity savings because the peak demand of the centre coincides with the solar PV production peak.
  • The plant will see the centre's overall energy consumption reduced by almost 20% per annum.
  • The plant has a 25-year life span.

Currently, 5010 m2 of the main shopping centre’s roof is covered with solar PV panels, and there is a plan to expand.

Well done to The Constantia Village for investing in energy efficiency measures! The Constantia Village is involved in a number of other greening initiatives on its premises, including an organic garden, a charging station for electric vehicles and a recycling depot.

As part of the Energy Security Game Changer, the Western Cape Government is encouraging the installation of rooftop solar PV. Want to know more? Navigate to Upgrade to solar PV

Information provided by Sola Future Energy and Growthpoint Properties

Main centre image taken by SA Venues

Remaining images provided by The Constantia Village and Sola Future Energy