Worcester East Water Solar Project brings relief to farmers and local communities
The Worcester East Water Solar Project, a ground-breaking initiative aimed at bolstering the agricultural sector and local communities in and around the Breede River Valley, in line with the region’s Spatial Development Framework, marks a significant step in addressing load shedding challenges, facilitating transformation and stimulating job creation. Low E Co, an energy efficiency solutions provider, was selected as the primary partner for this project and along with funding from Anuva Green Energy, made this solar undertaking possible.
The partnership between Low E Co and the Worcester East Pump Scheme is a long-term commitment to creating a greener, more sustainable and economically prosperous future for the area. “The primary beneficiaries are the farmers and the local community, who gain access to reliable “green” power at reduced costs,” says Deven Pillay, Managing Director of Low E Co.
Aligned with South Africa’s commitment to carbon mitigation and global efforts to transition to a low-carbon economy, the Worcester East Water Solar Project plays a pivotal role. It is expected to offset over 100,000 tons of CO2e during its duration, making a significant contribution to reducing carbon emissions. Commencement of the project began in November 2022 and was successfully completed in February this year – setting the stage for future developments, advances and upgrades.
The project’s technical intricacy includes the construction of up to 3MW of best-in-class solar PV plants, with nearly 2MW already operational. Additionally, the project encompasses mini-grids, transformers and transmission lines, guaranteeing the efficient operation of the energy system. At the heart of this transformative project lies a complex network of pumps, pipes and balancing dams, providing water to over 100 farms. Up-coming phases will introduce cutting-edge, battery technology that will further enhance operational efficiency and reduce costs.
Zane de Decker, Director of Anuva Green Energy, highlights the project’s multifaceted impact, stating, “Not only does the funding of this project support green energy, but in this case, it also protects the farmers and food security. These pumps feed the farms in the Breede River Valley with water. When they don’t run due to load shedding, it is a significant risk for the farms and the local population.”
“When complete the Worcester East Water Solar Project will be a first of its kind and will serve as a pioneering model / benchmark for future ventures and projects in the renewable energy sector,” states Pillay. It stands as a testament to the power of innovation, collaboration and sustainable development and represents a bright and hopeful future for South Africa’s agricultural sector, local communities and the global environment.