Commercial property group Redefine is looking at boosting its solar power generation capacity as it seeks to reduce its reliance on Eskom.
Eskom is implementing the worst blackouts on record, often leaving households without electricity for up to 10 hours in a day and also impacting manufacturing and businesses.
Redefine — which owns retail, office and industrial properties valued at R94.1-billion — currently uses solar power to meet 7% of its electricity demand. It also relies on diesel-powered generators.
“If we can push it to 18%, I think we’ll do exceptionally well with our existing infrastructure available,” said chief operations officer Leon Kok after the company reported a fall in half-year income, sending its shares down as much as 6%.
The company currently has a solar generation capacity of 31.9MW peak (MWp), with a further 12.9MWp expansion underway worth R142.5-million to help cope with the energy crisis.
Kok said the company planned to roll out solar panels onto its warehouse rooftops for distribution to office buildings once there is a workable and commercially attractive way of transmitting or delivering the generated power.
But for Redefine to reduce its reliance on Eskom sufficiently, it would need to invest in capital intensive battery storage, which the company is studying, he added.
Redefine spends R35 400/hour on diesel for 191 diesel generators across its South African portfolio. — Tannur Anders, (c) 2023 Reuters