The renewable energy sector is steadily growing in the global market, and with rapidly decreasing prices, fast gaining traction in South Africa. The installation of a solar PV (photovoltaic) solution for Pinewood Village in Cape Town has indicated that commercial scale solar PV systems offer high cost savings through low payback periods, typically around three years, instantly saving business owners money upon installation, as well as drastically reducing carbon footprints.
Pinewood Village Trust approached AWPower during 2018 in order to reduce their utility bill and create useful cost savings for their community. The intention was to install a rooftop solar PV system on the Community Centre.
Initially an energy monitoring study was conducted by AWPower engineers to accurately gauge the needs of the client. Through the power usage information of the centre, AWPower was able to design the optimal energy solution for the Village. Results of energy monitoring study below:
The design was structured to foremost maximise cost savings at a low payback period, while also being aesthetically pleasing and becoming a feature of the Village.
Below: Bird’s eye view of Pinewood Village Community Centre
AWPower installed a total of 54 x 275 Wp Solar PV modules coupled with 3 x Solis grid-tied inverters for a total capacity of 15 kW, with the design and installation approved by professional engineer Smitty du Toit. The entire registration and certification process with the City of Cape Town was completed by AWPower, ensuring full compliance and legality of the system.
Professional Engineer Smitty du Toit commented as follows:
“The installation at Pinewood Village appears to be a big success and tests went smoothly. It was very satisfactory to meet with an efficient and friendly team and to see such a neat job.”
Within 3 months from date of commissioning, the system has produced over 8 MWh and saved Pinewood Village over R11,000. This indicates that a three-year payback period in today’s market is certainly achievable. The short pay-back period provides an interesting option for financing such a system, whereby the savings from PV generation could cover the monthly installments, putting positive cash-flow within easy reach.
Mr. Pieter Janse van Rensburg, Pinewood Village Operations Manager commented:
“From our first meeting with the representatives of AWPower it was an absolute pleasure doing business with them. They guided us through the process in a very professional way always putting the well-being of the client first.
Their final presentation to the Pinewood stakeholders was of an exceptionally high standard. Their workmanship, supervision of workers and the administration are of equally high standards. I will definitely recommend them to any prospective client.”