Premier Alan Winde has just announced over R16 million in savings through energy resilience interventions at the Western Cape Government’s (WCG) Karl Bremer Hospital precinct.
The Premier visited the Bellville Health Park, where a R17 million solar photovoltaic (PV) installation project was recently completed in March 2023. This project, which saw 1,400 solar panels installed above parking bays at the facility, is generating 663kWp. The ground-mounted solar system is connected to five separate inverter stations, each mounted in vandal-resistant and theft-resistant cages. These inverter stations connect to the solar panels and convert DC (direct current) to AC (alternating current) in the building, which then gets connected to a miniature substation providing power to the Bellville Health Park.
By boosting its energy production through the solar panels installed on its parking bays and entire roof, the Bellville Health Park’s project has the potential to save the facility up to R5 million in electricity costs each year while providing shaded parking to both employees and clients. In total, the project helps the facility become more resistant to blackouts.
Premier Winde expressed the importance of the Western Cape Government working to mitigate the impact of load-shedding on essential services, stating that this has been demonstrated through budgetary allocations across various departments and in meaningful investments. He also encourages the private sector to play its part in bolstering energy security.
The Western Cape Government has made energy efficiency and resilience a priority, with the newly launched Western Cape Department of Infrastructure playing a key role. The department’s 2050 Western Cape Infrastructure Framework is a long-term plan for developing and maintaining critical infrastructure projects.
The BHP solar PV installation project is just one example of how the Western Cape Government is taking action to ensure its facilities are energy resilient. By utilizing clean energy solutions, the province can not only save money but also contribute towards a more sustainable future.
This illustrates that being energy resilient is essential for large facilities to stay operational during times of high demand or energy outages. The Western Cape Government’s project is one approach that other facilities could learn from to maintain the quality of services they provide.