Boland holiday resort says cow bay for load shedding

Henry

The ATKV Goudini Spa, a popular Boland holiday resort known for its natural hot springs, will soon boast an impressive solar power grid to keep the lights on during load shedding.

No less than 2,415 solar panels will be installed between the mountains of the Slanghoek Valley at this resort before the end of June.

The solar panels will generate 1.4 megawatts of electricity, of which the resort needs 900 KW. The additional 500 KW will be used to charge three backup batteries during the day for the days when it rains or is cloudy in the Boland, says LJ Jacobs, technical manager of ATKV Goudini Spa.

These three 800 kilowatt per hour batteries are enough to supply the entire resort’s electricity for four hours during load shedding, Jacobs tells RNews as we stand on the plot of land where the solar panels will be installed on a sunny day.

The solar panels will cover about 2.5 hectares of the resort.

The cost estimate currently stands at R43 million – and the amount probably sounds astronomical to some.

However, Goudini went to make up the sums and believes that he will be able to repay the amount within seven years thanks to savings on, among other things, diesel and generator maintenance.

“Anything from load shedding phase 4 and above costs us between R24 000 and R26 000 per day at this stage,” says Jacobs. He explains that the resort buys between 800 and 1,100 liters of diesel per day when Eskom introduces high phase load shedding.

Thaba Solar, a solar power company based in Thabazimbi in Limpopo, is responsible for the installation of Goudini’s solar panels. This company also installed ATKV’s Eiland Spa in Limpopo’s solar power system.

The plant forms part of the resort’s many green initiatives, says Jacobs while also explaining the resort’s unique sewage system.

This system converts greywater into usable water which is used to wash the resort’s linen.

Schalk Cilliers, managing director of the ATKV, believes in “going green”, when it comes to water and electricity.

Unfortunately, nine trees had to be cut down in the past month to make room for the solar panels at the resort.

“We are sad about our trees, but a solar panel doesn’t want shade,” says Jacobs. The wood from the trees will now be put through a chipper and the sawdust will be used in the resort’s garden. “That way we save water again.”

Goudini has meanwhile planted new trees at the resort to promote the fauna and flora there.

  • The post has been edited since it was initially published. – RED