Case Study

Alzu Petroport and Farm

Overview

Situated halfway between Middelburg and Belfast in Mpumalanga, exactly 35km from both, the Alzu Petroport is a convenient stop-over for road travelers, a comfortable rest-haven for tourists and a trucker’s dream-stop, between Gauteng and the Lowveld.
The Petroport overlooks a game enclosure containing rhinos, buffalos, a herd of eland, blesbok, ostriches and emus. While many know the popular Alzu Petroport, there is also the Alzu farming business, that farms various feeds, eggs and beef.

Objective

Alzu approached New Southern Energy with their goal of incorporating solar energy into their energy mix. As a business that places great value on the environment and conservation, this would help fulfill their aim of becoming more independent and operating in a more sustainable way. The long-term objective is ultimately to reach a position of using 100% renewable energy.

Solar Solution

New Southern Energy designed and a built a sophisticated 348.48 kWp solar tracking system for Alzu. In this system, a set of trackers direct the solar panels toward the sun. These devices change their orientation throughout the day to follow the sun’s path from east to west, enabling the solar panels to capture as much solar energy as possible.
This ground mounted tracking system is made up of 968 Canadian Solar panels, 4 inverters, 484 optimizers, 11 PiA Solar single-axis trackers and one tie in point to the site’s low voltage network and control and monitoring system.  There are 11 rows of solar panels, that are approximately 120 metres each. The solar distribution board and inverters are housed in a centralized cage located to the west of the system.
This solar system is also grid-tied, meaning that it is connected to the national electricity grid.
The system’s performance is monitored and controlled through a master controller, which can also communicate with the inverters. All of the data is logged and saved in cloud-based storage. Furthermore, the performance can be monitored in real time via a smart phone app.

Team

Business Development Manager: Mike Pritchard
Project Manager:  Natalie Hide
Asset Manager: Brian Ssebabi

Results

The site was commissioned early in 2021.
The system currently generates 100% of the site’s energy daytime supply and 40% of its annual requirement.
The system will generate an expected 733 270 kWh in its first year of operation, saving the company an estimated R 600 000 in its first year. Further savings are anticipated should the planned approval to export back into the grid go ahead.
This solar plant has an estimated lifespan of 25 years

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