Africa’s First Floating Solar Plant

1 March 2019 marked a very special accomplishment for Boplaas 1743 Estate. As the oldest family business in South Africa, sustainability has always been our number one priority. In testimony to our belief in the future of South Africa and its agricultural sector, it was with great hope and excitement that we inaugurated our – and the continent’s – first floating solar plant on our farm, Marlenique near Franschhoek. Minister of Economic Opportunities Beverley Schafer, CEO of New South Energy (NSE) David Masureik and members of the media joined us for the opening of the plant, which is set to provide a reliable, quality electricity supply for the entire farm operation.

The system has pioneered the implementation of floating alternative energy sources and is the first commercially operational system and the largest of its kind at 60 kWp. Marlenique’s solar plant will reduce the farm’s carbon footprint by 50%. We are impressed with the quality and standard of the installation and look forward to rolling out this next-generation technology across all our commercial enterprises in a bid to become 100% solar-powered. Minister Schäfer is in support of the initiative. “As the Western Cape Government, we have been urging businesses to take up solar PV as an alternative energy source. We’ve seen uptake grow from just 18MW in 2015 to 112 MW today, which reduces demand on the grid and helps to diversify our energy mix,” she said.

It is important for our children and grandchildren and all the generations to come, to be able to go back to their roots and know where they come from.