It would not be out of place for Ekurhuleni to be the first in implementing a Solar Power Plant, since it is the industrial capital in South Africa, where growth and technology is thus nothing new.
According to South African Government News Agency this is their commitment to help reduce the global problem of Carbon Emission.
The executive mayor Mondli Gungubele unveiled the plant. Gungubele said in his speech, “the plant is a sign of human care by the City in terms of improving the living conditions of residents”.
The plant was erected at the OR Tambo Cultural Precinct in Wattville, Benoni and comprised out of approximately 2500m2 of land. The 200kw of electricity is generated through 860 PV (Photovoltaic) panels providing power to 133 homes.
Gungubele said: “This solar plant is also signalling greater things to come in our city. This technology is the future in terms of saving the consumption of electricity, taking advantage of the sun as well as keeping our planet green and healthy, which has benefits to us as well”.
Project director, Tshilidzi Thenga was quoted: “Solar panels are devices that harvest the sun's light and turns it into energy that can be used for lots of things. They are also referred to as active solar power producers. During the day, if exposed to sunlight, these solar cells will collect the energy that comes from the sun and transforms it into electrical power that is stored in special batteries attached to the solar panel”.
Thenga was asked if the power will work at night and during cloudy weather, and he responded: “The beauty with the type of PV solar panels used here in Leeupan solar power plant is that they can still generate electricity even during cloudy weather”.
When asked about theft and damage, Thenga had the following to say: ”We are envisaging connecting a 300m cable from the combiner unit, laid into a cable trench to an existing power grid via 380V kiosk, adding to it a 25m high Mast Pole with 6 LED spot lights and separate PV panels will be used to serve as a security light to illuminate the site at night”.
Ekurhuleni will be a test model for other areas where power is a problem.