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Breweries goes big on solar

Wessie van der Westhuizen, MD of Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL); Deputy Director: Renewable Energy in the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Noddy Hipangelwa; Sven Thieme, Executive Chairman of the Ohlthaver & List Group of Companies; and the Mayor of the City of Windhoek, Agnes Kafula.

Wessie van der Westhuizen, MD of Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL); Deputy Director: Renewable Energy in the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Noddy Hipangelwa; Sven Thieme, Executive Chairman of the Ohlthaver & List Group of Companies; and the Mayor of the City of Windhoek, Agnes Kafula.

“What better way to do this than to start harnessing – free energy? We are a country in which the sun shines an average of 300 days per year – and even on rainy days we usually have sun in the morning – this energy is not only for free but also environmentally friendly and it is time to start using it on a big scale” said the Deputy Deputy Director of Renewable Energy in the Ministry of Mines and Energy,  Noddy Hipangelwa, when he officially inaugurates the largest rooftop solar installation in Africa.
Namibia Breweries Ltd, with its extensive brewery in Windhoek, is a major energy consumer. Early last year the brewer’s parent company, the O&L Group established a separate subsidiary to promote solar energy. This company, O&L Energy, drove the planning and execution of the Namibia Breweries solar plant.

Hipangelwa said the government has already actively promoted the use of solar energy and uptake of solar energy has increased greatly as a result. “This has been almost exclusively for off-grid applications. Off-grid solar electrification is set to continue for the next 20 years, under the Off-Grid Energization Master Plan.  However, to more fully use its solar energy potential, Namibia is well placed for the development of grid-fed solar thermal power-generated electricity, particularly considering the availability of vast areas of land with ideal conditions for large scale solar power electricity generation.”
“Over the last years we have noticed many more private households in and around Windhoek start using solar power for the geyser while a number of businesses, such as the Ohlthaver & List Group of Companies, have taken it up and made their dreams a reality” said the Deputy Director.
“Today marks a major milestone for all of us when we officially open this solar rooftop plant of the O&L Group.” Listing the many benefits, he reminded the audience that this is the largest rooftop solar installation on the entire African continent. “Be assured that the Namibian Government is 100% behind anyone who wishes to embark on such a project. I appeal to other corporates, companies and businesses but also to individuals to consider solar power” he said.
In his vote of thanks, CEO of O&L Energy, Bernd Walbaum conveyed his gratitude to the O&L Executive Chairman, Sven Thieme and to the Breweries’ MD, Wessie van der Westhuizen saying that they believed in the project from its conceptualisation. “You always believed in this ambitious project and believed in our joint capability, strength and competence to implement such a prestigious renewable energy plant” said Walbaum.
He thanked the NBL Project Team for their assistance with project management and important contributions. “We successfully worked together and committed ourselves to deliver a perfect result.” Walbaum also thanked the main contractor from Germany, DHybrid Power Systems, formerly Donauer, for their excellent designs, professional planning and supervision on site and smooth co-operation during the entire project.” Not ignoring the local contribution, he thanked the Namibian sub-contractors CIS and CV Welding for their excellent mechanical and technical installations.

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