Automotive giant Hyundai says its head office in Bedfordview and dealerships across Gauteng now run on solar power a move it hopes will help the company tackle load shedding.
At the head office, more than 240 solar panels have been fitted on the roof of the building, delivering 110 kW on a typical spring sunshine day.
“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, sales and operations director at Hyundai Automotive SA.
“Another aim of this project is to run our operations on clean power as far as possible, which fits in with one of the core values of our brand,” he adds.
With the solar project, Hyundai also hoped to cut on electricity cost and to run operations on clean power as far as possible, which Anderson says fits in with one of the core values of the brand.
The solar project at the head office and some dealerships in Gauteng, at a combined cost of R14 million, follows the installation of a solar energy system at Hyundai Automotive SA’s Parts Distribution Centre (PDC) in Germiston in 2019 and early 2020.
But the company is not storing the energy they tap at the head office forcing them to use generators when need arises.
“We do not yet store power at the head office and dealerships on the East Rand, but we feed electricity back into the power grid when there is a surplus. All installations are grid-tied and generator-tied. When there is load shedding and not enough sunshine, the generator would kick in,” says Anesh Parhanse, general manager for properties at Hyundai Automotive SA.
The head office is now looking to install batteries to store power better.
“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,” says Anesh.
According to Johan Nel, the regional general manager at Hyundai Automotive SA, solar power systems were also installed at three Hyundai dealerships on the West Rand – Hyundai Roodepoort, Bryanston and Weltevreden Park – and two in the Pretoria region – Hyundai Zambesi and Silver Lakes.