It’s not just greater South Africa heading towards renewable energy as a primary source of power. Hyundai Automotive South Africa has introduced solar energy to its head offices in Bedfordview and dealerships around Gauteng to ease Eskom’s constant bouts of load shedding.
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“Due to the frequency of power interruptions brought about by load shedding and the cost of running diesel-burning generators, we investigated the benefits of installing solar power,” said Stanley Anderson, director of sales and operations at Hyundai South Africa.
The group has said it now has more than 240 solar panels on the roof of its head office. This offers 110kW on an average sunny day. Setting this up wasn’t cheap, however. The group said the project cost around R14 million. That was enough to get it to handle most of the company’s power requirements. Hyundai just needs smaller backup diesel generators for those Stage 6 and up days.
“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,” said Anesh Parhanse, the general manager of properties at Hyundai Automotive SA.
So far, five dealerships have seen solar upgrades. Three are in the West Rand – Hyundai Roodepoort, Bryanston and Weltevreden Park. Two are in Pretoria – Hyundai Zambesi and Silver Lakes.
Since making the switch to solar, its head office has saved over R8,000 in electricity costs. Just R13,992,000 to go before Hyundai can recoup its costs. But this number is expected to grow as time passes, especially once it has batteries in place.
The group added that it plans to continue renovating dealerships around the country. At the very least, you should be able to get power at your local car dealership (eventually).