27 October 2022 – Business Tech

Heineken South Africa launched a solar power plant at its Sedibeng, Midvaal brewery in Gauteng on Wednesday (26 October) – moving closer to reducing carbon emissions in all its operations.

The solar plant began producing power in May this year and is the largest freestanding solar plant powering a brewery in South Africa and the largest within the Heineken group.

The plant boasts 14,000 panels with an energy capacity of over 6.5MW providing 30% of the brewery’s electricity demand. The 19-ha (190,000 square metre) project will generate 17,000MWh per annum.

“This project supports Heineken’s goal to reach net zero status in all its production sites by 2030. It is the latest move made by the company on its journey towards more sustainable brewing.

“The newly installed solar plant follows a water reclamation plant unveiled at the same facility earlier this year,” said Heineken’s engineering, strategic projects and sustainability manager Richard Kriel.

This embedded grid-connected solar project incorporates single-axis tracking technology that enables the panels to move with the rise and setting of the sun.

The construction process took approximately seven months to reach completion. During this time, a total of 127 job opportunities were generated, of which people from the local Sedibeng community filled 100.

The various job opportunities include technicians, construction teams, general workers and community members who attend to the cleaning of the solar panels and vegetation control to maintain optimal performance.

The plant, which has an estimated lifespan of 25 years, has been undertaken in partnership with The Sola Group, a vertically-integrated provider of renewable energy solutions in South Africa.

“Sola is proud to be associated with Heineken and their commitment to procuring clean, low-carbon energy. Embedded generation projects right at the source of consumption help reduce the load on the electricity supply network without additional grid infrastructure upgrades,” said Sola Group CEO Dom Wills.

Source: Business Tech