Site Visit 1: Lansdowne Bottling Company - News | 110% Green

Site Visit 1: Lansdowne Bottling Company

2 February 2017
Economic Opportunities Minister Alan Winde witnessed first-hand the benefits of solar PV at a site tour yesterday. 

The visit took place at Lansdowne Bottling Company in Philippi, Cape Town – known for products such as the popular soft drink, Double "O". The company, run by the Patel family,  provides a great example of how to cut electricity usage and generate solar energy.

Lansdowne Bottling Company's owners were interested in reducing the business' energy costs and lowering its carbon footprint. As such, they consulted with SPV Solar, who then tested the feasibility of a rooftop photovoltaic (PV) system. Managing Director of SPV Solar Morgan Naicker was on-site yesterday to provide Minister Winde with some more information about the project.

Naicker explained that a rooftop PV system was feasible for Lansdowne Bottling Company because of its adequate roof space. He added that the cost of the project is cash neutral, which means no additional capital outlay or additional monthly cash input is needed. Interesting to note is that the Lansdowne Bottling Company's production coincides with the energy produced annually. In other words, the peak of the rooftop PV system is able to meet demand because Lansdowne Bottling Company is generally busier during the warmer months, which is also the ideal weather conditions for optimal solar output.

According to SRV Solar, R 4m was invested in a 260kWp system in November 2015. A total of 828 solar panels now cover 1656m2  of roof space. The cumulative savings on electricity since installation is R 92600. Naicker explained that the system should pay for itself over 4.5 years. On a hot day, the solar PV system provides for approximately 32% of Lansdowne Bottling Company's electricity needs. 

“The owner of Lansdowne Bottling Company told me that his decision to invest in energy efficient infrastructure is already paying off. While their annual energy bill would have amounted to R2.3 million this year, they are expecting it to come out at R1.7 million, due to savings as a result of their PV system. They are able to invest these savings into projects to grow their business. This illustrates the significant benefits for businesses of switching to green forms of energy. I am happy to report that many companies in the province have already heeded the call.” said Minister Winde. 

Dirshan Patel, the owner of Lansdowne Bottling Company, said: “We have already made some savings which we will look at reinvesting into our business, but our ultimate goal is to see a long term saving as well as contributing to our environment in a positive way. Going green has always been in our vision and I am happy that we have completed phase 1.”

There is a plan to utilise the savings generated by the system on expansion, which will result in job creation and further carbon reduction. There is also a plan to tie the system to the City of Cape Town’s Grid and the company will receive a feed-in tariff for this.

Minister Winde's visit to Lansdowne Bottling Company forms part of the Western Cape Government’s Energy Security Game Changer. “The goal of the Energy Security Game Changer is to ensure long-term energy security through the availability of reliable, diverse and low carbon energy to support economic and social growth in the Western Cape. Through this campaign, we are seeking to showcase the contribution of business owners in this province who are leading the way in operating sustainability. They serve as inspiration to the private sector. We hope more business owners will recognise the benefits and investigate their options.” said Minister Winde. 

The campaign’s message is “Solar. The best way to save under the Sun.” One of the targets of this Game Changer is to reduce the industrial sector’s energy demand from Eskom by 10% by 2020 to ensure economic growth in the Western Cape. 

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