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Hyundai rolls out solar project at head office, Gauteng dealerships

16th December 2022

By: Irma Venter

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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A steady roll-out of renewable energy projects has seen Hyundai Automotive South Africa (HASA) run its head office and several of its Gauteng dealerships on solar power when loadshedding kicks in.

At the Bedfordview head office, more than 240 solar panels have been fitted on the roof of the building, delivering 110 kW on a typical sunny spring day.

The project was initiated on May 1, and by the middle of June installation work had started.

The solar systems were commissioned and fully installed at all of the sites by mid-September.

The aim of the photovoltaic project was to reduce Hyundai’s electricity bill, and to make the vehicle importer’s operations more environment-friendly.

“Due to the frequency of power interruptions brought about by loadshedding and the cost of running diesel-burning generators, we investigated the benefits of installing solar power,” says HASA sales and operations director Stanley Anderson.

“Another aim of the project is to run our operations on clean power as far as possible, which fits in with one of the core values of our brand.”

The newest solar projects, implemented at a combined cost of R14-million, follow the installation of a solar energy system at HASA’s parts distribution centre (PDC) in Germiston.

The system at the PDC includes batteries for power storage, but the installation at the head office and the East Rand dealerships might only see the addition of batteries in a second phase of the project.

“We are busy with a feasibility exercise to see what the most cost efficient solution would be to install batteries in order to store power, which would considerably reduce the use of a generator,” says HASA properties GM Anesh Parhanse.

“We do not yet store power at the head office and dealerships on the East Rand, but we do feed electricity back into the power grid when there is a surplus.

“All installations are grid-tied and generator-tied. When there is loadshedding and not enough sunshine, generators kick in,” explains Parhanse.

“Between 10:00 and 15:00, we are off the Eskom grid 90% of the time, when there is enough sunshine. On a bright sunny day with clear skies, we are off the grid completely.”

“Since installation, we have saved more than R8 000 in electricity costs at our head office,” adds Parhanse.

“The savings are expected to increase exponentially as time passes, and once the batteries for electrical power storage are installed.

“At the moment, we can already change to a smaller diesel generator. Apart from the environmental aspect, the cost of diesel and running a generator were also big considerations when we investigated the installation of the solar power systems.”

West Rand
HASA regional GM Johan Nel says solar power systems have also been rolled out at three Hyundai dealerships on the West Rand, namely Hyundai Roodepoort, Bryanston and Weltevreden Park, as well as two in the Pretoria region – Hyundai Zambesi and Silver Lakes.

All of these installations use less solar panels, but have the benefit of batteries that can store power.

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

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