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Blue Energy, wheel maker ink green power deal

10th May 2024

By: Irma Venter

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Local developer and operator of clean energy infrastructure Blue Energy Africa has signed a 20-year deal with Borbet South Africa (SA) for the procurement of power from renewable-energy sources.

Founded in 1962 by Peter Wilhelm Borbet, the family-owned company has five locations in Germany, as well as one each in Austria and South Africa, with the latter in Gqeberha.

Borbet SA manufactures light-alloy wheels used by carmakers such as Ford, Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Isuzu.

It is hoped that the energy deal will reduce Borbet SA’s environmental impact, while also ensuring energy savings and minimising potential losses during electricity outages.

The solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery energy storage system (BESS) solution at the company’s production facility in the Eastern Cape will comprise more than 5 MWp of solar PV panels installed on rooftops, carports and final product storage areas, integrated with a 4 MWh BESS and a generator to ensure operational resilience.

This should enable a peak power generation capacity of 5 350 KWp, with 4 000 kWh additional battery energy storage, while generating more than 7 000 000 kWh a year and reducing carbon emissions by 6 000 t a year.

Borbet SA MD Brenton van Vuuren says the first phase of the project will reduce the company’s reliance on Eskom-generated electricity by 8%, which should ensure continuous business operation and productivity.

“With this, we are taking the first step towards decarbonisation. Adopting environment-friendly and sustainable practices is bound to have a positive impact on our reputation.”

“The biggest win is the system’s ability to safely shut down operations during high levels of loadshedding or power outage, which will decrease the scrapping of final products produced, ensuring continuity and minimising losses,” adds Blue Energy Africa COO Jan van Ravenswaay.

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

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