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Cape Town school runs on solar energy, feeds into grid

Nov 17 2016 19:20

Cape Town - The German International School Cape Town (DSK) in Tamboerskloof has fully embraced a green future by installing a 150kWp solar electricity system.

It was officially switched-on in November 2016 by Minister for Economic Affairs, Science and Digital Agenda from the state of Thuringia, Wolfgang Tiefensee. Three German solar companies that are well established in South Africa supplied the renewable energy technology components.

SolarWorld Africa provided the photovoltaic panels, SMA Solar Technology the solar inverters and Schletter South Africa supplied the mounting structure and installed the solar system to the school’s roof.

The system is designed for embedded generation that will maximise self-consumption and feed excess power back into Cape Town’s electricity grid. This is made possible by making use of the small-scale embedded generation” (SSEG) tariff the City of Cape Town offers for solar systems.

DSK headmaster Alexander P. Kirmse said on most days, it supplies the entire school with energy from the sun and still feeds excess energy into the grid of the City of Cape Town.

"This plant teaches our learners the value of sustainable energy, generated by green technology and being conscious of environmental challenges, which is all part of the ‘going green’ campaign for our school,” said Kirmse.

"Schools are an excellent business case for embedded generation solar systems: During school times most power consumed comes from the solar system (maximized self-consumption) and on weekends and during school holidays the power is sold to the grid."

Schletter South Africa’s managing director Bernhard Suchland said the German International School Cape Town is set at a high wind location in Tamboerskloof near Table Mountain.

Together with the initial off-grid photovoltaic system the school has been using since 2010, this full scale on-grid system will enable the learners to have access to this renewable energy technology and compare functionality and production data of both, an on-grid and off-grid application.

Learners will also gather information of financial savings of such an investment into a renewable energy system. This will create awareness and understanding for the vast opportunities for renewable energy in South Africa and Africa.

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