The next 1000 Buffalo City Metro-built RDP houses will be solar-powered.

BCM mayor Alfred Mtsi was addressing a high-powered delegation from Germany’s Lower Saxony led by prime minister Stephan Weil and Oldenburg mayor Jurgen Krogmann at the launch of an exciting display of renewable energy systems set up at the BCM electricity department.

Mtsi and the crowd of 30 politicians and officials were given a tour of the building in Beacon Bay by BCM electricity contracts manager Jean Smit.

Beacon Bay Library
© Viaene

Smit showed off a 20kW grid-tied inverter which turned energy collected from a mass of solar panels covering the electricity building and Beacon Bay library roofs into electricity.

A smaller hybrid system feeds the building with solar power and charges two large batteries while a little solar-powered green box – all designed by local firm Out TheGreenBox – is used for charging cellphones, running an LED light and a TV set.

Smit said they were looking at a slightly more powerful system for rural home use which would go for up to R11000 and keep the TV on for seven hours. He said there were eight options for BCM residents seeking a green solution.

He said 90% of the green machines on display were manufactured in East London and Port Elizabeth.

The idea was to show the public what was available when they came to the department, said Smit.

Mtsi and Weil were delighted at the 25% reduction of electricity in the building, and the provision of 40% of the remaining power demand coming from green systems.

Smit showed the group how the hot air generated by an air-conditioner was being used to heat a geyser and four 130kg deep-cell battery packs which were collecting the solar energy for use in the building. Mtsi announced BCM’s Project Nakopa which would see more BCM buildings becoming energy efficient, and said the ideas had come from the partnership with the German province and city. “We believe that climate