NBL’s largest roof-mounted solar power plant in Africa
O&L Energy is a specialist for renewable energy in Southern Africa, especially in large-scale PV, Solar Water Heating and Bio Energy and has developed this project in close cooperation with the technical team of NBL. Together with the solar company Donauer Solartechnik from Germany and local Namibia installation companies, the plant will be installed within the next 4 months.
Namibia Breweries Limited is one of the leading beverage manufacturing companies in Namibia and, indeed, in Southern Africa and has a proud Namibian heritage. NBL leads the domestic beer market and has a significant share of the premium beer category in South Africa. NBL’s total exports account for more than half of total production output. In May 1996, NBL listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) and became a publicly owned company.
NBL Managing Director, Wessie van der Westhuizen said: “We are extremely proud to follow the green route and install the largest roof-mounted PV plant in Africa in an effort to cut energy cost, reduce our carbon footprint and become partly self-sufficient.” The 1 MWp plant will cover up to 35% of the total NBL consumption during day time.
The CEO of O&L Energy, Bernd Vincent Walbaum pointed out that this is a prestigious project for the company and that he is very excited about the next months. The 4 172-panel facility with 66 SMA inverters spans a 6,400 sqm roof area. The special design of the plant provides an east-west orientation on a 10 degree mounting system without penetrating the roofs.
Walbaum said that the advantage of this design from Donauer is that it has a higher output in the mornings and afternoons, reduces the wind loads and caters for sufficient ventilation to ensure highest efficiency.
The plant will have an annual output of 1.9 GWh. It is expected to have a payback period of 6-7 years and should operate for a period of 25 years.
The grid-connected power solution generates electricity partly from the solar PV systems during the day and totally switches over to the national grid for night operations. The plant will also include a hybrid management system that integrates and coordinates the supply from solar power, diesel generators and national grid.
Walbaum stresses that O&L Energy as a project developer primarily focuses on prospects arising in the mining, industrial and property sectors. The NBL facility, he enthuses, offers a case study for other industrial customers looking to reduce their electricity cost, lower their reliance on electricity utilities or aiming to reduce their carbon footprints. O&L Energy has a pipeline of renewable energy prospects in Namibia and SADC, targeting especially 1 MW to 10 MW plants.