A South African flagship for communal energy independence
Schneider Electric and AdSolar collaborated to build a unique solution giving energy independence and self-sustainability to a high end residential estate development in South Africa using a community level centralized storage with decentralized power generation.
At a time of rolling black-outs on the South African electricity grid, AdSolar was tasked with designing a power solution for 11 new homes in a luxury estate development in the Upper Highway area of Durban’s western suburbs. The goal was to provide power generation, delivery and security without compromising the homeowners’ lifestyle. Given the complexity of the project, AdSolar selected a solution from Schneider Electric’s broad range of solar technologies to meet their client’s needs.
The cost of grid power in South Africa is ever increasing to allow utilities to maintain and expand their distribution networks and generation capacity. This increase in power costs in South Africa combined with deteriorating grid stability is pushing more consumers to want to take control and go off-grid.
Rolling black-outs leave homes in South Africa exposed to the risk of crime, food decaying in fridges and freezers or simply the inconvenience of power going off when you need it most (in the middle of preparing your meals, showers in the morning, kids not being able to finish homework at night).
Homeowners paying to be off-grid want the process to be easy and simple. They do not want to have large, potentially dangerous, battery banks (that require ventilation and maintenance) standing in their garages or noisy diesel generators that require constant refueling. They want the luxury of energy security without having to make adjustments to their lifestyles and without paying premiums.
From the perspective of the utilities and developers – in outlying regions in places like South Africa, it is becoming harder to get access to reliable (or even any) grid power for new developments. Further, the utility is often concerned with the impact large grid connected hybrid systems have on the safety and stability of the grid.