Construction of the rooftop solar plant is expected to be completed by December 2017 to produce renewable energy, reduce carbon emissions, all while leaving a much lighter footprint on the environment.
The co-owners of Middelburg Mall, Moolman Group and Flanagan & Gerrard Property Development & Investment (F&G) have commissioned the project to Terra Firma Power Solutions which will be overseen by Nortelec Consulting Engineers. At peak production, the solar PV plant is expected to produce around 7 percent of Middelburg Mall’s electricity power requirements and will cover 15000m2 of roof space – enough energy to power 2,350 family homes for a year.
Paul Gerard of F&G says, “We are extremely excited about the practical implications of the new solar PV plant, but this initiative is just one of our key priorities. As property developers, we have a dedicated sustainability programme to reduce the group’s energy and water consumption, decrease waste and promote recycling. The overall objective is to continuously reduce any potential negative impact on our natural environment as the plant will have a total saving of approximately1 080 tons of CO² per year.”
JZ Moolman of the Moolman group adds that solar PV makes good sense for shopping centres. “Not only has the cost of installing Solar PV decreased significantly in recent years making an increasing amount of installations financially viable, but it also ticks many other boxes such as environmental and social responsibilities. In addition to generating clean energy, a Solar PV Installation generates jobs, during and after the installation in the form of operations and maintenance contracts and will continue to do all of the above for at least the next 25 years to come.”
Middelburg Mall General Manager, Mike Tammadge says “the Centre is thrilled to embark on such an exciting new project, especially as this is the first and largest of its kind for a shopping centre in the province. “We’re immensely proud to play our part in taking better care of our environment. Solar energy offers so many great benefits and aside from reducing our carbon footprint going green is just the right thing to do.”