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Pet food manufacturer harnesses solar power for its plant and feeds the grid

Home Infrastructure Energy – Power Generation Pet food manufacturer harnesses solar power for its plant and feeds the...

AS South Africa’s leading pet nutrition brand, Montego is contributing to the country’s energy transition, for a greener, brighter tomorrow.

Following the company’s R22 million investment, which kicked off the dedicated solar installation and energy storage plant at its Graaff-Reinet production facility in 2019, Montego decided to invest another R11 million to take the company’s energy resilience to the next level.

Kallie Venter, engineering manager at Montego Pet Nutrition, breaks it down: “The previous system featured an 843 kWp PV array, spanning 4,580 sqm of rooftop space. With it, we reduced our carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 1.2 million kilograms and saved millions in energy and fuel costs. It also spelled the end of our loadshedding woes, meaning we could run production every day, regardless of the local power outage schedule.”

“Comprising over two thousand 550 W panels and covering more or less the entire roof of our head office in Graaff-Reinet, the new upgrade takes it a step further. The extensive installation which took four months to complete, was entrusted to BDL Solar. What’s more, we’ve integrated and digitised the solar energy plants to allow remote monitoring and control of the entire system, online, in real-time,” Venter explains.

“The project has been so successful, that we’re actually producing around 200 kW per day in excess capacity, which we feed back into the national electricity supply grid, so we’re also contributing to alleviating the energy crisis overall,” Venter says.

And this is just the beginning. The group plans to install PV systems at all its manufacturing facilities, commencing with the Centurion plant early next year. “The project has already been approved and contracted to a local company,” Venter adds.

Wilfred Cawood, Montego’s marketing executive weighs in: “Part of our mission to be the leading pet food manufacturer in Africa, is our commitment to becoming a low-carbon company and playing a role in sustaining our environment.”

“We’re proud to be one of the private sector players taking a leading role in driving transformation in the energy space. We’ll keep pushing to ramp up our contributions, both to alleviating the energy crisis and towards building a sustainable prosperous future for everyone in South Africa. Furthermore, it’s allowing us to continue producing at the required levels during loadshedding, ensuring that the pets that love Montego have food in their bowls!”

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