South Africa’s Robben Island embraces green energy

RobbenRobben Island is an island in Table Bay, 6.9km west of the coast of Bloubergstrand in Cape Town in South Africa. (Image source: Michael Coghlan/Flickr)South Africa’s Robben Island has launched a microgrid project embracing clean power and battery storage, a move that incorporates the island’s long-term initiative to go green in its energy projects

Sola Future Energy, engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) partner of the department of tourism, has designed and constructed the microgrid solar project.

The solar PV energy generating system focuses on reducing the carbon footprint in the island and minimising the diesel-related hazards, according to Laura Robinson, member of the Robben Island Museum Council.

With three power production elements, the solar PV farm consists of 1,960 mono-crystalline modules with around 666.4kW power supply. Sola Future said that the battery bank, which consists of 2,420 lithium-ion battery cells, is able to store about 837kWh with an output of a maximum of 500kVA.

Diesel generators are the third power production element, which are used when no solar or battery storage is available.

Commenting on the solar PV project in the island, Dom Wills, CEO of Sola Future Energy, said, “The microgrid on Robben Island is the largest combined solar and lithium-ion storage microgrid system in South Africa.”

Wills further explained that the solar project is expected to reduce the consumption of fossil fuel by 235,000 litres of diesel per annum, thus reducing the island’s carbon emissions by 820 tonnes.

“The island’s micro-grid is also a very good example of how non-electrically connected Africa will be powered in the next 20 years,” he added.

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