The largest roof-mounted solar panel system in Southern Africa is currently being installed at the Black River Park office development in Observatory, Cape Town.
Phase one of the installation, which is busy being completed, is bigger than any other power system of its kind in Southern Africa. Once the second phase is installed at the end of 2013, the system will be double that size, in addition to being one of the most technologically advanced systems in the world.
The first phase involves the installation of 2 875 panels, while a further 2 050 panels to be installed during phase two. Once completed, the system will cover an area of 8 000m² and the operation is expected to generate about 1.9GW hours a year, which is enough energy to power 1 000 average-sized homes.
The system has built in power curtailment devices to ensure no electricity is fed back into the local grid system, should the energy generated at any point exceed demand. However, once legislation changes, the system will be able to supply power back into the grid over weekends and when power is not needed, as well as providing standby power in the event of an outage.