New Southern Energy, a South African-based company, recently installed a microgrid system at the Savute Elephant lodge, a luxury safari accommodation within the Belmond Group located in Chobe National Park, Botswana. The lodge underwent a complete renovation and decided to implement a microgrid solution for its energy requirements.
Courtesy of New Southern Energy
In a strong continental shift toward electrification and sustainability, microgrids are becoming increasingly popular across Africa. Most of the African continent has poor to no grid access with most remote locations running on diesel generators. With operational expenses as high as $0.5/kWh, the cost of electricity in many locations is extremely high. In addition, as one of the largest global contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, the burning of fossil fuel has a large negative environmental impact.
Microgrids are ideally suited for almost all sectors of the economy. One such sector that can greatly benefit from microgrid systems is the hospitality sector. Lodges, often in remote conservation areas with no access to the national grid, consequently run on expensive diesel generators. These sites require a large amount of energy for bulk services such as water supply, sewerage treatment, hot water as well as staff housing, kitchens, laundries, guest accommodation, heating, cooling, and lighting to name a few. A microgrid solution can supply this energy demand predominantly through solar and batteries eliminating the need to run diesel generators thus significantly reducing operational expenditure and improving the sustainability of the lodge.
NSE provided the lodge with a full EPC/development service implementing a complete microgrid solution consisting of a 212kWp PV system Microgrid PV System, a 630kWh | 159kW Battery Tesla Powerpack battery solution, 2x 200kVA standby generators, the low voltage AC network infrastructure to the sites as well as a 5000Ltr centralised hot water plant. The overall design is expected to reduce the lodge’s dependency on diesel by 90 percent, thus reducing carbon emissions and improving sustainability.