Solar PV panels rolled out at 150 Engen fuel stations in Southern Africa

11th June 2024 By: Schalk Burger - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

Solar PV panels rolled out at 150 Engen fuel stations in Southern Africa

Solar power provider SolarSaver, which serves as fuel retailer Engen's official solar provider, has installed solar PV systems at 150 Engen Petroleum fuel stations across Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.

The installations, with a combined capacity of nearly 6.59 MW, will produce 12.2-million kilowatt-hours of electricity during the first year of operation.

This project is significantly reducing Engen’s reliance on grid power, while also lowering its CO2 emissions.

“The fuel stations are able to use solar energy during the day and revert to the national grid at night and during inclement weather conditions. This allows them to save energy and to take pressure off the grid,” says SolarSaver director Stu Batchelor.

The effective drop in grid energy consumption on a typical Engen site with the new solar PV system installed is about 80 000 kWh/y, he points out.

“Solar can help businesses like fuel service stations slash their electricity bills and significantly reduce their carbon footprint.”

Further, service stations offer unique installation spaces for solar PV solutions on both the convenience store roofs and forecourt canopies. These installations can power various services at the fuel stations, including retail store operations, he adds.

“With a solar installation in place, daylight energy requirements like LED lighting, fuel pumps and compressors can be fully met. In addition, energy for refrigeration and IT infrastructure can be provided by this sustainable energy source, leading to considerable savings on electricity costs.”

Additionally, the benefits of switching to solar are maximised if a business implements other energy-saving initiatives. Engen, for example, is implementing environmental initiatives including solar geysers, solar heat pumps and whole-site conversion to LED lighting, he notes.

SolarSaver provides rent-to-own, grid-tied solar solutions or hybrid battery installations that provide an essential backup for when the grid is down, while it remains responsible for all ongoing monitoring, maintenance and insurance of managed systems.

This approach to making renewable energy available across a wide range of sites will help Engen reduce its electricity costs and achieve its sustainability goals, while also visibly highlighting that a shift to renewable energy is accessible, Batchelor said.

“It has been a win for SolarSaver to be able to work closely with the Engen team towards the same sustainability goals. Solar panels at Engen service stations around the country create a greater awareness of solar energy use.

“This project demonstrates the potential of solar PV technology to create clean energy systems, and serves as an example for other similar businesses looking to implement sustainable solutions,” Batchelor says.