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Thursday, 17 November 2022 10:48

Hyundai goes green with solar project at head office & dealerships.

Motoring Reporter.

South Korean Automotive behemoth Hyundai is now running its head office in Bedfordview and dealerships across Gauteng on solar power in an effort to combat load shedding.

According to the group, the head office now has more than 240 solar panels on the roof, delivering 110 kW on a day with normal levels of sunshine. This set the group back a combined R14 million following their installation.

"Due to the frequency of power interruptions brought about by load shedding and the cost of running diesel-burning generators, we investigated the benefits of installing solar power," said Stanley Anderson, sales and operations director at Hyundai Automotive SA.

After the installation, the group can change to smaller diesel generators. "The cost of diesel and running a generator was also a big consideration when we investigated the installation of the solar power systems, "Hyundai said.

Anderson added that the project also aimed to reduce the electricity bill and consumption of the company and its dealer network while making it more environmentally friendly.

The head office is now looking to install batteries to store power better.

"We are busy with a feasibility exercise to see what the most cost-efficient solution would be to install batteries in order to store power, which would considerably reduce the use of a generator," said Anesh Parhanse, the general manager of properties at Hyundai Automotive SA.

Parhanse said that the group does not yet store power at the main office, but power is let back into the grid when there is a surplus.

All installations are grid-tied and generator-tied. When there is load shedding and not enough sunshine, the generator will kick in, Parhanse added.

"Between 10h00 and 15h00 we are off the Eskom grid 90% of the time when there is enough sunshine. On a bright sunny day with clear skies, we are off the grid completely."

"Since installation, we have saved more than R8,000 in electricity costs at our head office. The savings are expected to increase exponentially as time passes and when batteries for electrical power storage get installed."

According to Johan Nel, the regional general manager at Hyundai Automotive SA, solar power systems were also installed at three Hyundai dealerships on the West Rand – Hyundai Roodepoort, Bryanston and Weltevreden Park – and two in the Pretoria region – Hyundai Zambesi and Silver Lakes.

Hyundai now aims to expand more dealerships in the network with solar installations, said Nel.