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PPC and JHB Invest in Solar Power

2010-06-10 11:59:00

The Diepsloot Development Centre in the north of Johannesburg has recently been fitted with 75 solar panels and a battery room equipped to store two day's worth of electricity in unpredictable weather.

This project by the City, in partnership with Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC), will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the city as well as provide power for numerous lights, computers and other electrical equipment in the Diepsloot Centre.

PPC donated R1.7 million toward the project, resulting in 75 photovoltaic panels that were installed on the roof of the Skills Development Centre at the end of February.

The solar panels will produce an estimated 55KWh of energy daily, and in addition all the lights in the centre have been replaced with energy efficient fluorescent tubes, saving an estimated 1,000 watts throughout the building.

This is the largest project of this kind ever implemented by the city and its effects are far reaching, enabling computer-based training to take place at the centre as well as other energy driven projects - that not even power outages can disrupt - all the while reducing the city's carbon footprint.

Theo Covary, the director of the company responsible for installing the solar panels, Unlimited Energy, said now that the equipment is installed the electricity is essentially free for the next ten years, after which the batteries will need replacing.

He added that investment in renewable energy would help change future thinking and behaviour regarding energy generation, consumption and efficiency.

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