Toyota spends millions on solar power in Durban

Posted by Laura Grant on April 29, 2008
Posted in Business, Renewable energy, Transport

Toyota‘s manufacturing plant in Durban is installing solar energy in a R3.5-million project that is expected to save the company R95,000 a month on energy costs, according a media release.

The car manufacturer had already installed 150 solar panels by June 2007 and has plans to install another 120 of them. So, by the end of 2008, Toyota will have installed 270 solar panels into its Durban plant, says the release.

It does not specify how much electricity the solar panels will generate or what percentage of the plant’s total electricity consumption the solar power will replace. But it does say that “the company’s Prospecton plant in Durban used electricity and gas to heat water, it will now use energy converted from the sun as a source of heat.”

The solar panels will allow the car manufacturer to lower its carbon dioxide emissions by about 1,350 tons a year.

It will also help to reduce the impact of Eskom’s “load shedding” on the company’s operations.



5 Responses to “Toyota spends millions on solar power in Durban”

  1. Jacques SEOman
    May 1st, 2008 @ 5:52 pm

    The R95000 per month savings on their electricity bill, was this calculated at present prices, or on the anticipated 50% odd increased price?

  2. Steve from Parmalat
    June 3rd, 2008 @ 3:27 pm

    The project at the Toyota plant in Durban looks like a project that any factory should take a serious look at.

    At Parmalat we are on a mission to make savings where ever posible, speciallywhen it comes to electricity and the use of coal for the boiler.

    All the years it has been the norm that steam has been the cheapest energy source for heating purposes. This seems to be in the process of changing.

    Who are the best people whom we can contact in connection with a project like this?

  3. laura
    June 9th, 2008 @ 12:15 am

    It might be worth asking the Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa –

  4. asgher mukhtar
    June 10th, 2008 @ 7:58 pm

    solar panels have a life of 20-25 years. you will need an inverter with it. these have a life span of 5-7 years. with no batteries in the system it becomes very low maintainace. we have 6-8 hours of effective sunlight in this country. 300 days a year. every business using electricity and operating from 9-5 should look at this as an option. solar panels cost between $4-$6 / watt

  5. Herman Bos
    October 17th, 2009 @ 6:07 am

    Zephyr projects in Pinetown have developed a flat panel solar water heater that is 18% more efficient per square area of space than other systems available. This means that in a given space more heated water can be produced. The panels can be interlinked to supply large volumes of hot water as a pre- feed to any boiler system, thus greatly reducing the energy cost that would normally be spent heating water

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