Mall of the South embarks on solar plant mission

Mall of the South

Mall of the South, managed by Redefine Properties, embarked on a solar power plant installation this year as part of its ESG strategy.

The installation project commenced in February 2022 and was completed at the end of August 2022 with its solar PV facility one of the biggest rooftop projects in the country, ranking in the top 10 in SA.

10 226 solar panels were used, and its size installed is 5160kWp (5168kWp DC power and 4180kWp AC power) at a cost of approximately R43.7 million, which would produce 8 433 917kWh per annum. This would amount to a net saving of +- R13.5m on the mall’s annual electricity bill and producing a yield of 31.1% in year 1.

The system will operate at the shopping centre for over 20 years, producing 156 GWh (156 000 000 kwh) over its lifetime and based on the energy saving projections, Mall of the South anticipates an 8 939.95 tCO2e reduction in its carbon footprint.

The solar system is a grid-tied system, meaning the inverters that the solar panels feed power to require the grid as a reference to convert DC power from the panels to AC power. However, the system does not yet include the use of any batteries or other dispatchable power sources; as a result, the shopping centre will still rely on backup generator power during load shedding.

The system employs an export control system that can dynamically control the power from the solar system (power factor, real power curtailment etc.) to ensure any exported power to City Power’s grid is within grid code requirements.

Terra Firma Solutions installed the solar plant with the project managed by SOLINK.

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