SOUTH AFRICA – Econet subsidiary Distributed Power Africa (DPA) has joined Shoprite Group’s renewable energy program, installing solar panels at stores in three provinces.
Africa’s largest retailer Shoprite announced plans earlier this year 2021 to go off-grid in the near future and DPA is among the renewable energy companies that have been contracted for the installations of solar power.
Shoprite Group already generates a significant amount of power from solar – 12,300MWh – following the installation of rooftop photovoltaic (PV) panels at multiple sites around South Africa and Namibia.
The company joined other businesses that have turned to renewable energy, opting to get off the grid.
According to research by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, published in its “Statistics of utility-scale power generation in South Africa 2020” report, South Africa is experiencing increased renewable energy use.
DPA says it has begun preparations for solar PV at Shoprite stores in Lichtenburg (North West), Malelane (Mpumalanga) and Waverly (Gauteng).
“The first three stores are expected to generate more than 1,450MWh of energy per annum in total. There are 18 Shoprite Checkers retail stores already powered by solar in the group’s green building initiative. DPA has been aggressive in engaging commercial and industrial businesses to adopt hybrid clean energy solutions for energy resilience, reduced costs and improved carbon footprints,” it noted.
DPA is also at an advanced stage of deploying 45MW across large industrial users across its operations in Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
In September 2020, the company unveiled its solar project in Durban, South Africa, for Massmart’s Makro business, as the renewable energy company continues to drive the adoption of clean and renewable energy in commercial and industrial businesses across sub-Sahara Africa.
The construction of the Makro solar solution started in the middle of July 2020 with a carport system design which was completed in August 2020.
The Massmart’s Makro project follows the company’s recent large solar projects, which include an industrial solution at Schweppes Zimbabwe.
In 2019, the beverage maker officially commissioned a US$2 million 1MW solar plant at its Willowvale factory in Harare.
The company has further increased its capacity of use of renewable energy with launch of a 500 kilowatts solar power plant to run its Beitbridge Juice Plant earlier this month.