Coega to install solar panels on rooftops of buildings located in IDZ


The Coega Development Corporation announced today that the roofs of about 15 of its buildings within the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) will be fitted with solar panels.

These CDC buildings have a collective roof space of 127 000 m2. A request for proposals for the solar panel rooftop solution has already been issued by the CDC.

The project forms part of the organisation’s commitment to renewable energy as an important source of energy security.

“Existing buildings lend themselves well to rooftop solar panel installations.  This project entails retrofitting roofs of the industrial buildings in the Coega IDZ,” said Sandisiwe Ncemane CDC Business Development Manager: Energy.

“We are also building a number of new industrial facilities, which will be designed to enable the implementation of solar power solutions on the roofs. CDC facilities to be built for investors are projected to provide a further 125 000 m2 of industrial space over the next five years.”

Eskom announced that the electricity supply to the country will be highly constrained for at least the next five years, due to drastic deterioration of power stations. Load shedding, which has been implemented since the beginning of 2008 to relieve the national grid, also presents a hidden cost to society because frequent disruptions can slow down economic progress.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance is an agency which gives potential investors a specific breakdown of the renewable energy investment opportunities in 55 countries, including 19 in Africa. Last year they conducted research that confirmed that South Africa ranked third in the world after China and Brazil and first among African countries for clean energy investment.

Ncemane added that due to the energy and climate change crisis in South Africa, the creation of power through solar harvesting is an important priority and opportunity for the country.

“Electricity generated from the sun is a significant contributor to the needs of sustainable electricity output solutions, and can deliver economic benefits to the country.”

The CDC has been mandated by the South African Government to advance the Coega project as an integrated and holistic development, in the shortest possible timeframe. The investment will indirectly contribute to job creation and economic development in the Eastern Cape.

“The CDC has also built momentum on its Renewable Energy (RE) strategy by attracting and sustaining domestic and foreign direct investment in energy projects, which to date includes several ‘green’ energy components manufacturing industries in wind power generation, solar energy harvesting and bioenergy.”

Dr Ayanda Vilakazi, CDC Head of Marketing and Communications said, “Investment in solar energy will position the Coega IDZ as a green IDZ with efficient energy at lower costs. This is also aimed at creating further value for the CDC investors as Energy has been key to economic development world-wide.”