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Global F&B giant turns to solar power in SA

Home Infrastructure Energy – Power Generation Global F&B giant turns to solar power in SA

A LEADING provider of customised rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) solutions in southern Africa, SolarSaver, has completed several significant solar installations for global food and beverage giant, PepsiCo. These installations represent significant progress in PepsiCo’s drive towards 100% renewable electricity. The use of solar energy not only reduces the company’s carbon footprint but also results in considerable cost savings over time.

The latest installation, completed at PepsiCo’s Simba manufacturing facility in Spartan, Kempton Park, provides 700.32 kW. SolarSaver also completed three grid-tied installations at various plants during 2022. The first, at PepsiCo’s Breakfast Cereals facility, boasts a capacity of 1302.00 kW, providing a substantial contribution to the facility’s energy needs. The next grid-tied system was installed at PepsiCo’s SAD Upington location and has a capacity of 393.75 kW, followed by a grid-tied solar solution at PepsiCo’s Weetbix facility with a capacity of 1110.60 kW.

The power requirements for food processing and manufacturing facilities are substantial, with extensive demands for heating, cooling, and operational machinery. The transition to renewable energy, particularly solar, presents a sustainable alternative, allowing food processing units to both reduce operational costs and lessen environmental impacts, says Stu Batchelor of SolarSaver. “Solar systems help reduce the amount of electricity drawn from the grid (Eskom) and assist with reducing peak demand –without impacting the operation of sensitive machinery.”

These projects were executed as outright sales with maintenance agreements, demonstrating the company’s commitment to not only install but also maintain and monitor the performance of these systems. SolarSaver’s work with PepsiCo is a testament to its expertise in providing effective, tailor-made solar solutions that meet the unique needs of each client.

“Working with a forward-thinking organisation like PepsiCo has been very rewarding,” says Batchelor. “Our custom solar solutions are designed to align with PepsiCo’s sustainability goals, providing not just immediate energy cost savings but also setting a standard for environmental stewardship in the industry.”

The SolarSaver group offers a unique solar solution to its clients in southern Africa without the need for capital outlay. This concept has proven to be very popular among businesses and as a result SolarSaver now runs the largest fleet of self-financed C&I solar installations across the region. The SolarSaver portfolio includes over 650 systems operated by the company under long-term rent-to-own and PPA contracts in South Africa, Namibia, and Botswana.

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