Ceres farmer commissions solar plant that benefits community

14th January 2021 By: Marleny Arnoldi - Creamer Media Online Writer

Ceres farmer commissions solar plant that benefits community

Solar farm at the El Cuesta Farming operation in Ceres

A farmer from Ceres Valley has taken it upon himself to build a solar plant on his Vadersgawe fruit farm, with excess power to be shared with the Witzenburg municipality.

The 90 ha operation, called El Cuesta Farming, is renowned for its juicy apples, pears and nectarines, which are exported to the UK and other European countries.

The farmer, Ian Versfeld, decided to install a solar plant on the property to mitigate against electricity shortages from the grid, but opted to commission a system that would produce more than required, to feed excess electricity back into the grid.

The community now has more power to draw from and is less vulnerable to load-shedding.

The plant comprises 630 solar panels of 360 W each, producing up to 226.8 kW direct current power. The solar plant can produce up to 376 882 kWh/y.

New Southern Energy CEO David Masureik says the project is an example of a grid-tied system that can benefit a whole area.

New Southern Energy designed and installed the solar farm late last year.