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Air Products, Jeka highlight benefits of solar rooftop installations

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A solar photovoltaic (PV) roof-mounted power plant system installed at industrial and specialty gas manufacturer and supplier Air Products’ Kempton Park facility generates sufficient energy to meet between 60% and 70% of the facility’s day-time requirements, Air Products GM Maropeng Bahula says.

The plant, installed by black-owned Jeka Energy, can also be expanded into a hybrid system in the future to store energy to cater for the facility’s night-time energy requirements.

The installed system is designed to generate up to 329 394 kWh in its first year of operation.      

Bahula tells Engineering News Online that the power plant forms part of the company’s commitment to sustainability goals.

“Essentially, our aim and our commitment is to ensure we continually reduce our environmental impact,” he avers.

Meanwhile, Bahula says it chose Jeka to install the solar PV plant owing to its record of executing “a project of this nature”, its competent engineers and demonstrated financial acumen.

“[Another] element we looked at was essentially that they have offered us, as part of the system, a remote monitoring system – we can basically monitor the generation of electricity or energy using this solar system,” he highlights.

Engineering News Online also spoke to Jeka Energy CEO Thembani Marhanele, who previously said in a release sent to Engineering News Online, that solar energy was “a valuable tool for companies, such as Air Products, as the solar energy generated can be stored and used during peak demand periods if a hybrid system is installed”.

Marhanele tells Engineering News Online that what makes the Air Products installation unique is that the Kempton Park facility had enough roof space to install solar panels facing East, West and North.

The adequate roof space, Marhanele highlights, allows the facility to cover the energy requirements per building, which “makes it a very different system”.

“Most of the panels are laid in a way that they generate energy in both directions, but we also have a north-facing one, which is custom made as per their specification.”

Jeka Energy completes solar PV power plant for Air Products

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Jeka Energy has completed the installation of a solar photovoltaic (PV)
roof-mounted power plant for Air Products’ Kempton Park facility.

This renewable energy provides most of the energy required by the Air Products facility. 

The installed system uses the generated solar energy as it gets harnessed, hence the daytime solar energy generation. However, an allowance has been made for future expansion to an ultimate hybrid system that will incorporate energy storage systems.

The installed system is designed to generate up to 329 394 kWh in its first year of operation.  

The power plant forms part of Air Products’ commitment to continually reduce the environmental impact of its operations in support of its sustainability goals. To this end, Air Products has formed a relationship with black-owned and controlled energy company, Jeka Energy, which is a subsidiary of Jeka Resources.

Air Products’ selection of Jeka Energy as the preferred supplier was based on its record and experience in the development, construction, project execution and operation of similar solar PV systems, which were tailormade to customer requirements, the company explained in a statement.

Jeka Energy also offers advisory services pertaining to the design and development of energy efficient solar PV technology solutions.

Commenting on the relationship with Jeka Energy, Air Products technical GM Maropeng Bahula said that Air Products’ has a number of key focus areas, which it believes has made a contribution to its success in the industry to date.

Some of these focus areas include enterprise development, continuous improvement, innovation and technology.

“The solar energy project we have embarked on with Jeka Energy ticked all these boxes,” Bahula enthused, adding that the Kempton Park facility’s solar PV system was being used as a prototype and would form the basis for similar projects at Air Products’ other facilities going forward.

“We believe that as we roll out solar PV power plants over a period of time to our other facilities, we will improve our energy efficiency. Moreover, our energy mix will change, resulting in an improved carbon footprint and reduced electricity costs,” Bahula highlighted.

Jeka Energy CEO Thembani Jeffrey Marhanele, meanwhile, explained that solar energy has become a valuable tool for companies, such as Air Products, as the solar energy generated can be stored and used during peak demand periods if a hybrid system is installed.

Through the hybrid system, Jeka Energy also works with its clients to ensure that they are aware of the financial benefits of renewable energy systems. 

“At Jeka Energy, our aim is to assist businesses to develop and achieve their green energy goals while managing their demand side through energy efficient systems,” he averred.



Air Products Goes Solar With Jeka Energy

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Air Products South Africa has made a commitment through its Environmental, Health and Safety Policy to continually reduce the environmental impact of its operations in support of its sustainability goals.

To this end, Air Products formed a relationship with a wholly black-owned and controlled energy company, Jeka Energy. Jeka Energy is a subsidiary of Jeka Resources.

Air Products and Jeka Energy have completed their first solar PV (Photovoltaic) roof-mounted power plant. This power plant generates daytime solar energy for the Air Products Kempton Park Facility.

This renewable energy displaces most of the energy that Air Products uses that is sourced from the grid, primarily from coal-fired power stations.

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