In the sun-drenched Loskop Valley, a remarkable transformation has taken place on Schoonbee Landgoed’s open fields. Against the verdant green citrus orchards and grape vineyards, a new solar-power generating plant was erected. The installation of this renewable energy plant forms part of Schoonbee Landgoed’s rapidly changing views on how the business acquires its electricity.
Why solar as a renewable energy solution for Schoonbee Landgoed:
- Solar energy is renewable, unlimited and economical.
- This energy is clean and non-polluting with low-emission.
- It is adaptable and easily maintained. It can be custom fit and designed to be both flexible and expandable.
- Solar energy provides jobs and sustainable economic growth.
Photovoltaic solar technology directly converts sunlight into electricity using panels of semiconductor cells. The sun is a powerful energy source and our Loskop Valley is blessed with abundant sunshine daily.
Schoonbee Landgoed installed and commissioned the first phase of our ground mounted photovoltaic systems in November 2017. The plant currently contributes 330 -kilowatt energy managed by an automated throttling system, which prevents the energy produced to be send back on to the Eskom grid.
The photovoltaic panels, facing north, cover an area of roughly 2285 m² and produces electricity to be utilized where required. Typically, it would assist with the electricity requirements to power the farm’s 8 000m² Wildebeest grape packing facility, the 14 300m² Kameelkop citrus packing facility and numerous irrigation stations.
Schoonbee Landgoed handles more than 46 000 tons of citrus and table grapes annually, with packing, cooling and marketing carried out according to client requirements directly from the farm. The entire premises are spread over 3000 hectares and comprise of the two main packing facilities, a 4700 pallet de-greening facility, a 300-pallet cold room at the Wildebeest grape packing facility and a 200-pallet cold-room at the Kameelkop citrus packing facility, which all contribute to the total electricity demand.
Our solar energy has proved to be very beneficial for the farm during peak times, to the environment and also for the society offering many advantages over conventional energy systems.
I’ve been very passionate about renewable energy for many years, particularly solar energy and its capacity to bring abundant clean, sustainable energy to millions around the globe
– Richard Branson, business magnate and owner of The Virgin Group.