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Komani-Karoo
Montego invests R22 million in solar energy efficiency

MONTEGO Pet Nutrition recently completed a R22 million solar plant project at its Graaff-Reinet-based production facility, which is set to reduce its annual electricity demand by 1.4 million kWh, enough to generate power for nearly 120 households at an average consumption of 1 000 units per month for an entire year.

Montego worked with SPV Solar to plan and execute the project, which included upgrades to its existing electrical infrastructure and installing generator sets and a solar panel system.

The 843 kWp solar panel system covers an area of 4 580m2 of rooftop space, with each panel measuring 2m2 and weighing 25kg.

Montego marketing manager, Wilfred Cawood, said, “Solar power not only helps make a positive environmental impact, but it is also an ideal energy solution for us from a cost-saving perspective, especially because of the favourable climate in Graaff-Reinet.”

The solar panel installation will save Montego 24% annually on electricity and has the potential to earn back the company’s investment within the next four years.

SPV Solar managing director, Morgan Naicker, said that the greatest benefit of going the solar route lies in the positive impact it can have on the environment.

“Simply put, the system we have installed for Montego will achieve the equivalent of eliminating the greenhouse gases of nearly 600 motor vehicles on the road annually, or reduce the energy usage needed to power 2 000 computers for a year, or provide enough energy to operate a TV for over 23 million hours,” said Naicker.

The nine-month project followed closely on the heels of a R70 million factory upgrade that Montego implemented to meet local and international demand of its premium quality pet food, which boosted overall production by 30%.

“Our only limitation to the solar project has been a lack of rooftop space. But there are pipeline plans to build additional infrastructure to accommodate more solar installations and achieve a further 2MWs,” said Cawood.

“There is also the possibility of a ground-mounted solar structure, which we are discussing as we continue our efforts to ‘go green’ and find sustainable alternatives.”

The final module was installed and completed on May 17, with the balance of the system the end of May this year.

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