Nestlé installs solar power plant in South Africa targeting net zero emissions by 2050

SOUTH AFRICA – In line with its 2030 ambition to attain zero environmental impact in its operation and achieve net zero emissions by 2050, Nestlé, has mounted 1’806 solar PV panels at its Babelegi Manufacturing Plant in South Africa.

The solar plant with an installed capacity of 966kW is expected to deliver some 2’128’149 kWh of energy per annum, equal to 15.6% of the total electrical energy requirement of the factory for the full year.

Other than powering the facility, the renewable energy plant with ensure the company’s NESTLÉ CREMORA and MAGGI 2-minute Noodles brands are not only remain tastier but also contribute to making better the environment.

“One of the key messages coming out of the COP27 climate conference was the importance of action and implementation to advance climate action.

“As a business we firmly believe that taking action however big or small throughout our value chain, is how we will begin to make an impact on the climate crisis. 

“We also believe that there is an opportunity to decrease GHG emissions through an increase in low emission and renewable energy,” said Xolile White, Technical Director at Nestlé ESAR.

Nestlé commits to having a strategy to procure 100% of electricity from renewable sources within the shortest practical timescale.

This is the second manufacturing plant in the region with an installed solar plant following installations at the Harrismith Factory, which were completed in August 2022.

It is sized with a capacity of 1’189kW, which includes a ground mounted system and additional solar PV capacity on the roofs of the new carport structures.

The 1’946 solar PV panels are expected to deliver some 1’714’191 kWh of energy per annum.

This equates to 10% of the total electrical energy requirement of the factory for the full year, generating approximately 45% of the factory demand during daylight hours.

Installations at both facilities, deemed as the first phase of the renewable projects, are pegged to deliver just over 3% of Nestlé ESAR’s power requirements.

The second phase of the renewable energy projects is set to add five additional development sites; extending Babelegi’s second phase expansion to 1’500’000kWh, or 11% of annual electricity requirement for the factory.

Additional sites are East London, Estcourt, Potchefstroom, and the Nestlé Quality Assurance Centre in Johannesburg.

These are expected to deliver a total combined capacity of 5.7GW, which is 5% of Nestlé ESAR’s energy requirements.

“In this critical moment for our planet, we are committed to finding solutions that deliver tangible results to the business. Therefore, we are multidisciplinary in our approach, aiming to transform many touchpoints across our value chain.

“From the energy we use in our operations as seen with this initiative, to carbon capture technology that converts flue gases to green products, to regenerative agriculture practises that reduce emission. All these interventions, together forming our RE sustainability initiative with the pillars of REthink, REduce and Repurpose,” said White.

As part of the RE-initiative, Nestlé established its first carbon neutral dairy farm, Skimmelkrans in George, South Africa, is past the halfway mark to reaching the net-zero carbon emissions goal.

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