Fourteen months ago, Siemens installed a microgrid at its headquarters in Midrand and data shows it is using 50% less supplied energy, drawing it from solar resources instead. By extracting energy off its microgrid, the company has saved 2 435 000 kWh, which translates into 174 000 kWh per month – 50% of the office park’s normal consumption.
Put into perspective, 174 000 kWh is the amount of energy used by 50 average South Africa households per year.
“The project provides a showcase for the vision of smart cities across Africa,” says Sabine Dall’Omo, CEO of Siemens Southern and Eastern Africa, “This small-scale example shows that it doesn’t have to remain a futuristic dream, it’s a reality that we can start working toward today. We already have a proven solution that will help save energy, cut costs, lower carbon emissions and ensure uninterrupted power. Everything from installation to operating costs have been tracked to present a realistic case study for the South African context, and the results to date are convincing.”
The real-life case study, implemented in an existing office building, shows impressive savings in terms of cost, as well as harmful emissions (2460 tons of CO2 saved to date). Combining efforts from local and global Siemens experts, this is the first Siemens Distributed Energy System (DES) solution of its kind in Africa. It is also the first time that Siemens has installed the system in one of its own buildings. The solution corresponds with the company’s goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 through energy efficiency, decentralised energy systems, and the purchasing of clean electricity.
DES results to date:
• 14 months of uninterrupted power.
• 2460 tons of CO2 saved.
• The initial payback period calculated for the system is 11,1 years (capex, financing, maintenance, conservative power price inflation).
• Tariff increases, however, and taking the actual production figures into consideration, Siemens are confident that the full payback will be achievable in under 10 years.
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