Thembalethu Square goes solar

Part of the massive solar power installation on the roof of Thembalethu Square.

GEORGE NEWS - The installation of a 200kVA solar power grid covering a big part of the Thembalethu Square roof has just been completed.
 
It is expected to provide a minimum of R30 000 saving in the centre's monthly R300 000 electricity bill once the system has been paid off.
 
Centre Manager Jeanne-Mari Scholtz says it was a big decision that they made after careful consideration of the financial and other implications.
 
"Each R5 that we spend, I usually compare with a bread with which we can feed five children through the Thembalethu Square Development Programme. In addition to the savings we will enjoy, other factors are having a secure power supply and reducing our ecological footprint."
 
The cost of the project, R4 million, was financed by Investec.
 
"We are proud to be taking the lead among local businesses after George Airport's solar grid became operational in February this year. We have added a capital asset to the centre and we believe that once the system is paid off, we will make a substantial saving in the ever rising cost of electricity," says Scholtz.
 
According to Andrew Behrens from Specialized Solar Systems, the supplier and installer of the system, the Square will save about 360 tons of its yearly carbon emissions.
 
Estimated over a year period, the 645 photovoltaic panels will generate an average of 1 040kWh per day.
 
ARTICLE: ALIDA DE BEER, GEORGE HERALD JOURNALIST
 
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