Nelson Mandela University’s South Campus will soon be producing just over 10% of its own electricity, thanks to an innovative R18 million green power plant that is currently being established on the campus. The two-hectare solar photovoltaics (PV) power plant will produce 1 740 MWh of electricity per year, has a 20-year life span and will be feeding renewable energy into the South Campus grid by December or January.
The new plant, one of many on-campus sustainability initiatives, is the result of a partnership between the university and renewable energies company, Tasol Solar. The university has given Tasol Solar a piece of land on which they will install and maintain the plant for 10 years, selling the energy back to the university. After the 10-year period, the university will take ownership of the PV power plant and will no longer have to buy the electricity produced.
Should this project and delivery model prove successful, additional solar PV power plants may be installed at some of the university’s other five campuses.