by DION HENRICK
CAPE TOWN – ONE of South Africa’s largest bus companies is now a net producer of green energy.
Golden Arrow Bus Services, the largest operator in Cape Town, has accumulated a zero energy bill since beginning of 2020.
It has installed solar panels at its central engineering complex, Multimech, as part of its ongoing sustainability and carbon footprint reduction initiatives.
The switch to renewable energy has been successful that this large industrial site has reduced its electricity account by 71 percent over the last three years.
This achievement is the culmination of a multi-year collaboration between Golden Arrow, New Southern Energy and the City of Cape Town.
Gideon Neethling, Golden Arrow Company Engineer, said sustainable energy generation was a key part of Golden Arrow’s future.
“We believe that this is not only an ethically but also financially sound investment. We are excited to see how we can expand these initiatives in future,” Neethling said.
Such projects include the recently completed upgrading of the lighting at the Company’s largest depot, Arrowgate, and the installation of a solar car port which will generate close to 295 000 kWh per year.
“This project is a perfect example of a phased approach that enables a facility to work towards a more sustainable future over time,” said David Masureik,
Chief Executive Officer of New Southern Energy.
Masureik said the collaboration with the City of Cape Town would benefit people throughout the city for many years to come.
The first phase of the project, which began in 2017, comprised a small installation of solar panels on Multimech’s roof.
During the second and third phases of the project, the number of panels was increased to almost 2 500 with the capacity to generate approximately 1 200 kilowatt hours per year.
The final installation was completed during October 2019 and since then the site has consumed only 46 percent of the electricity generated by the system and exported the balance to the City of Cape Town for use elsewhere.
As a net exporter of electricity, Multimech is now classified as a green facility.
According to Gideon Neethling, Golden Arrow Company Engineer, this project has provided an impetus for future projects and innovations.
– CAJ News