by Roshaan Patel

Sun energy powers community hospital

Community healthcare centre experiences the potential of solar

Solar energy powers one of the Western Cape's community hospitals

SolarWorld Africa, by way of its distribution partner Solek Renewable Energy Engineers, has supplied a solar electricity system to the Mitchells Plain District Hospital in the Western Cape. SolarWorld has supplied 64kWp of modules mounted on aluminium, non-penetrating sub-frames for the system at the newly built hospital.

The system, expected to have an annual production of 112.61MWh, is installed in a grid-tied configuration, thus directly coupled as an embedded generation facility to the network of the hospital.

Since South Africa has such a high coal component of its own electricity production, the amount of carbon offset by generating electricity by renewable sources is substantial. Currently, 1kWh of solar energy generated offsets 0.96 kilogrammes of carbon, while dwindling non-renewable sources continue to put pressure on the environment.

It is for this reason that the Department of Transport and Public Works is pursuing clean energy initiatives and the reason this community-serving hospital chose to go with a high-quality, renewable energy solution.

”We are well aware of the demonstrable results that solar energy delivers and are pleased to see how this translates into environmental and economic benefits for the hospital and the wider community of Mitchells Plain”,says Gregor Küpper, SolarWorld Africa managing director.

The Mitchells Plain District Hospital project was commissioned in February 2013 and installed in under two weeks, underlining the expedient route-to-market potential of solar systems.

“Partnering and long-term relations with well-established solar companies provide added resources which the company can tap into. Our collaboration with SolarWorld on this project has proven to be successful and we look forward to working together in the future”, says Wiehann Van Zyl, Solek MD.

In a similar project for the Department of Transport and Public Works, SolarWorld supplied a 30kWp solar electricity system to feed power into the Khayelitsha District Hospital’s electricity grid.

Both projects show that the move to sustainable energy resources by the public sector is in full swing.

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