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SolarSaver powers 150 Engen fuel stations across Southern Africa – and counting

Engen Petroleum’s official solar provider SolarSaver has reached the milestone of installing photovoltaic solar systems at 150 Engen Petroleum fuel stations across South Africa, Botswana and Namibia, with more going live each month. The installations total more than 6 586 kilowatt peak. With the largest network of service stations in the country, this project is significantly reducing Engen’s reliance on grid power and significantly decreasing  its CO2 emissions. The 6 586 kilowatt peak will produce 12 220 794 kilowatt hours within the first year. In a major move to reduce its carbon footprint and save energy costs, Engen Petroleum aims to install solar photovoltaic systems at all Engen-owned fuel stations across South Africa, as well as sites in Botswana and Namibia. 

“Solar can help businesses like fuel service stations to slash their electricity bills and significantly reduce their carbon footprint,” says Stu Batchelor of SolarSaver. “The fuel stations are able to use solar energy during the day and revert to the national grid at night and during inclement weather conditions. This allows us the ability to save energy and to take pressure off the grid.”  The effective drop in grid energy consumption on a typical Engen site with the new solar PV system installed is about 80 000 kWh’s per year.  

According to Batchelor, service stations offer unique installation spaces for solar PV solutions on both the convenience store roofs and forecourt canopies. These installations can power multiple aspects of their services, including retail store operations. “With a solar installation in place, daylight energy requirements like LED lighting, fuel pumps and compressors can be fully met. In addition, energy for refrigeration and IT infrastructure can be provided by this sustainable energy source, leading to considerable savings on electricity costs.” 

The benefits of switching to solar can be further maximised if a business has already implemented other energy-saving initiatives. Engen, for example, is implementing environmental initiatives including solar geysers, solar heat pumps and whole-site conversion to LED lighting. 

SolarSaver currently helps over 700 major businesses to harness the power of the sun through rent-to-own grid-tied solar solutions or hybrid battery installations that provide an essential backup for when the grid is down. SolarSaver remains responsible for all ongoing monitoring, maintenance and insurance of managed systems. “We’re able to build these systems economically, managing and maintaining them in widespread geographic locations,” says Batchelor.

According to Batchelor,  this approach to making renewable energy available across a wide range of sites will help Engen reduce its electricity costs and achieve its sustainability goals, while also visibly highlighting that a shift to renewable energy is accessible.  “It has been a real win for SolarSaver to be able to work closely with the Engen team, united behind the same sustainability goals. When you see the solar panels at Engen service stations around the country, it creates a greater awareness of using solar energy. This project demonstrates the potential of solar PV technology to create clean energy systems, serving as an example for other similar businesses looking to implement sustainable solutions.”

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