An international property developer faced challenges in its prestigious project outside of Pretoria, South Africa. Despite a prime location, excellent land preparation and strong demand from investors, the chronic power supply issues from Eskom (national power utility) result in ongoing blackouts to the estate. This interrupts quality of life and the ability to ensure security within the estate.
South Africa presents some of the best natural resources for solar PV on the planet. Low development costs for solar, alongside increasing tariffs and deteriorating supply, presented an opportunity for the housing estate. Using land nearby, a solar PV facility would supply the estate and protect it from power shortages. This is a fantastic opportunity for the residents and also the environment since power shortages in Africa are usually mitigated with noisy and polluting diesel or heavy fuel oil generators.
Our client had a limited block of land for which the goal was to develop a maximized solar facility. Initial modeling suggested that approximately 3.8 MWp could be deployed although our client challenged the team to reach 5 MWp. Our team ran highly detailed simulations and generated almost a dozen scenarios. We took into consideration east-west vs north-facing panel orientation and portrait vs landscape panel placement to stack more panels. We also optimized the pitch, to avoid (self) shadowing among the rows
The Wattmanager team is dedicated to making every cell work as hard as possible for our clients. By being true to our promise, we managed to reach 5 MWp for our client and beat any alternative simulations that were commissioned for the same block of land. We also bench-marked the costs of our simulations to ensure that our optimized outcomes result in realistic capital costs. The housing estate will soon enjoy a clean and silent 24 hour power supply, one of the first in South Africa.