Cape Town - Robben Island is set to save R5 million annually with a newly installed solar-powered mini-grid plant.
The plant which was launched on Thursday will be used by the heritage site along with its previously used diesel generators.
The Department of Tourism handed over the plant to Robben Island as part of its mandate to support sustainable tourism and renewable energy.
The island, which was once prison to political leaders, uses almost 2 million kilowatts of electricity each year. The heritage site has an energy usage ranging from residential needs, desalination, harbor and offices.
There are over a hundred residential homes on the island. Currently, there is no access to fresh water on the island, instead water is harvested from the sea and then desalinated.
The R25 million project is expected to save the Island 275 000 litres of diesel annually, while reducing the use of diesel-powered generators by almost 14 to 45 percent.