PRETORIA – The Mall of Africa, in the heart of Waterfall City in Midrand, is set to reveal a more-than-R50 million rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) system.
Developer Atterbury Property, which owns 20 percent of the mall with the majority 80 percent owned by listed property company Attacq, has claimed it is the largest rooftop solar PV system of its kind in the southern hemisphere and the 10th largest worldwide.
Atterbury said that, as far as could be established, the system was the world’s largest integrated rooftop PV/diesel hybrid solution.
The 4 755kWp installation covers most of the available space on the mall’s roof space, an area of about 45 000m².
The energy generated would be used to power the mall’s daily operations.
James Ehlers, the managing director of Atterbury, said that they had long ago realised the importance of integrating solar-smart solutions into their buildings.
“This solar PV system is just one of many that we will be installing across our portfolio,” he said.
Michael Clampett, the head of retail asset management at Attacq, said Attacq was well known for its focus on sustainable building, especially in its flagship Waterfall development.
“This project will see the mall producing sufficient power to support its day-to-day electricity requirements while also decreasing its overall carbon footprint, another significant point in our sustainability journey,” he said.
Clampett added that, in addition to ensuring that the mall reduced its carbon footprint, the project created temporary employment for 50 people and full-time jobs for a further two workers.
Jaco Botha, the chief executive of Solareff, said it was a ground-breaking project for South Africa's solar PV industry and it was estimated that it would be able to produce 7800MWh annually.
Botha said Solareff and Attacq worked through the lengthy legal process together with the National Energy Regulator of South Africa and Eskom to ensure it was fully legally compliant.
Clampett said the reduction in traditional electricity consumption because of the installation of the system would alleviate pressure on the national power grid, allowing for greater available capacity to support the substantial local economic growth currently experienced in the Waterfall area.
Attacq said the positive environmental impacts of the solution implementation included annual savings of 8034 tons of CO2, 4394.36 tons of coal and 157 fewer coal trucks on the road each year.