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Solar power for government buildings

The Gauteng Department of Infrastructure plans to rollout rooftop solar panels on government buildings across the province.

The Gauteng Department of Infrastructure plans to rollout rooftop solar panels on government buildings across the province.

MEC for Infrastructure Development Qedani Mahlangu said, “Studies by researchers at the University of Johannesburg suggest that Gauteng receives between 1 900 and 2 100Kw/h per square metre of solar irradiation all year round. We have quantified the available roof top space on government owned buildings to be about eight million square metres,” she said.

About R11.2 billion has been budgeted for the project. According to Mahlangu, solar panels would generate up to 300 megawatts of electricity.

She said the entire project would be self-funding by the department, from existing financial resources meant for current electricity costs.

“A number of private sector companies from as far afield as South Korea are currently exploring opportunities to invest in the establishment of green technology
manufacturing facilities in South Africa, including solar panel manufacturing,” said Mahlangu.

She said the plan was to use the roll-out to drive job creation and enterprise development.

“This will require us to work together with municipalities to create the prerequisite demand in order to attract investors.”
Mahlangu said the department engaged a number of stakeholders on ways to identify and deal with constraints.

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