Thursday, 10 August 2017 11:20

Balwin Properties partners with SolarAfrica to power its upmarket developments with solar energy

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JSE listed Balwin Properties has partnered with SolarAfrica to introduce solar energy to its upmarket developments.

Kikuyu and The Whisken are modern and elegant, and come standard with prepaid electricity and individual water meters. Whilst all Balwin apartments are considered eco-friendly, their two newest developments will be the first to make use of solar energy as a considerable portion of their daily electricity usage, operating in conjunction with an automated load management system.

SolarAfrica specialises in clean energy solutions for the residential sectional title market in South Africa. Its solutions require little to no capital investment whilst operating and maintaining the systems that generate electricity for use by residential homeowners.

Steve Brookes, CEO of Balwin Properties comments “We are continually tailoring our developments to match market demands, offering innovations in lifestyle, convenience and energy efficiency. 

“While we already offer prepaid meters allowing residents to actively manage their electricity consumption, the addition of solar power will save residents on their monthly electricity bill which is of utmost importance considering the rising cost of living.

“We are proud to be leading the way in driving green initiatives for developments like ours. This is clearly a concept that we will look to roll out to select future developments.”

SolarAfrica’s latest advancement combines effective geyser load management with solar, allowing for up to 40% of a development’s total energy requirements to be supplied by solar energy. The sophisticated system works by managing the time and temperature of hot water heating in order to maximise the use of solar energy, since solar PV can only generate energy when the sun shines.

By controlling small fluctuations in temperature (individual or centralised geyser systems), a substantial amount of energy can be stored during the day for use at night. Smart geyser software ensures that the hot water temperature for each resident’s water is kept at optimal levels.

Grahame Cruickshanks, Managing Executive: Residential at Green Building Council South Africa, says “Kikuyu and The Whisken are targeting EDGE certification and will deliver significant energy savings to residents who ‘live smart’ in their homes through a range of practical solutions which contribute towards achieving a minimum of 20% savings in the predicted energy and water consumption of the homes. In addition to this a 20% reduction in the embodied energy of the materials used in construction will result in a reduced environmental impact. Once certified these projects will be amongst the first EDGE certified projects to include solar PV technology, offering energy savings benefits to residents and setting an exciting trend in green homes.”

The advanced solar solution allows developers to achieve South African National Standard (“SANS”) compliance whilst obtaining a savings in CAPEX. Warren Gray, Mechanical Engineer at Solid Green Consulting states “When viewed at system-level, a given amount of money will produce better environmental and financial performance if spent on grid-tied rooftop PV powering resistance geysers, than if it were spent on alternative hot water heating technologies.”

Each apartment block will be fitted with stylish, dual glass, frameless polycrystalline modules which have some of the best performance ratings in the industry and blend well with the architectural style of each building.

“This is an exciting partnership for us. Our solar and load management solution at The Whisken and Kikuyu will demonstrate how greener buildings can lower utility costs through environmentally friendly living,” says James Irons, CEO of SolarAfrica.

Together, SolarAfrica and Balwin Properties are excited to bring the latest advancements in technology to residential developments, creating a sustainable environment by using renewable energy that offers benefits to both the developer and future homeowners.

Last modified on Friday, 11 August 2017 11:22

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