Mercedes-Benz South Africa is harnessing the East London sunshine with the fitment of 22 847 solar panels at its plant as part of phase two of its progress to carbon neutrality.

The R100-million investment moves it closer to the goal of covering more than 70% of the energy demand in production with renewable energies by 2030.“The installation of the Photovoltaic solar panels at our manufacturing plant is a key pillar of our energy strategy and will contribute towards the East London plant’s daily maximum demand requirement of 12 MW in times of peak demand,” says Andreas Brand CEO of Mercedes-Benz South Africa and Executive Director for Manufacturing.

“The additional investment of R100 million into the second phase of the Photovoltaic solar energy project accelerates our carbon-neutral manufacturing ambitions and corporate citizenship mandate. As a company, we are working strategically towards delivering on our sustainability commitments, and feed-in agreements are required to utilise the new capacity from 2024 onwards.”

The first phase of the 3 692 PV solar panel installation was completed in 2022 and provided 2 MWp (megawatt peak). The latest PV installation will cover an additional five rooftops of the East London Plant with 22 847 solar panels, expanding the manufacturing plant’s footprint by a further 12,6 MWp (megawatt peak).

Combined, the total Photovoltaic size will approximate 26 539 solar panels, equating to 14,6 MWpeak – a peak in line with the East London Plant’s maximum demand during any production day. The annual generation of the completed system will contribute to an estimated 20% of the East London Plant’s annual MWh (megawatt hour) consumption.

The project is set to commence in quarter one of 2024, in partnership with a local supplier.

Colin Windell – proudly ALL THINGS MOTORING