As businesses such as ours expand production output to meet growing demands, we are increasingly cognizant of the importance of environmentally ethical practices in order to contribute to a world that future generations can enjoy.
Having identified this necessity in 2010 we began investigating the possibility of using our acres of factory roof space to support a solar plant. Fortuitously, this coincided with an expansion to the plant which would provide an appropriate ‘home’ for the panels.
Because the expansion put pressure on the existing municipal electricity infrastructure, coupled with the constraints in the national power supply at the time, hefty tariff hikes were put in place. Hence the need to fast-track this bold solution.
The resultant move by Lorbrand management to place 2 054 solar panels with a total collection area of 4163 m2 and design power of 500kW has paid off, with an average monthly CO2 saving of between 30 and 50 tons.
Additional company tax savings have also been achieved by the production of electricity from renewable energy sources, and this reduced operational overhead has enabled us to pass on meaningful cost-savings to our customers. Due to current legislative restrictions, our photovoltaic feedback into the municipal grid is throttled, and we therefore cannot yet achieve maximum CO2 savings. We hope to see this change in the near future. More certain is our plan to optimize the integration of our solar facilities with backup generators as a more economical power source than the municipal grid, especially during peak production periods over the winter months.
The installation consists of Tier 1 polycrystalline Yingli and Winaico photovoltaic panels. Grid tied inverter makes are SMA and KACO.