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Top residential estate planning to build its own solar power plant

Val de Vie is planning to build its own solar power plant with 3,600 photovoltaic (PV) modules to generate 1 MV of electricity.

Val de Vie is one of South Africa’s top luxury lifestyle estates and is located in the Cape Winelands between Paarl and Franschhoek.

The estate features vineyards, polo fields, an equestrian centre, the highly-rated Pearl Valley golf course, natural fynbos scenery, parks, lakes, and mountain backdrops.

Val de Vie contains a few neighbourhoods, including Pearl Valley, the Polo Village, the Gentleman’s Estate, the River Club, the Reserve, the Vines, the Acres, and the Evergreen Val de Vie retirement village.

According to the latest listings, house prices range from R2 million for a one-bedroom apartment to R20 million for a five-bedroom house.

Val de Vie is now looking to start the journey of providing its own power through a new green energy project.

The estate has launched an environmental impact assessment (EIA) process for the proposed solar power plant.

The proposed site for the solar plant is located inside the Val de Vie Estate, adjacent to the Waste Water Treatment Works.

The ground-mounted solar power plant will have a 15,475 square meter (1.5 hectare) footprint with the ability to generate approximately 1 MV (megavolt) alternating current (AC).

It will feed the power into the private Val de Vie electricity network for use by the Val de Vie Estate. No electricity will be exported to the existing Drakenstein Kliprug substation or any nearby Eskom networks.

Electrical protection, control, and communication will be installed in the private Val de Vie switching station with the solar power plant. This includes underground cables and a mini substation.

The Solar Power Plant will include 3,600 PV modules, fourteen 100 kW string inverters with sensor modules, AC surge protection, DC surge protection, IO Module and harmonic filters.

Low- and medium-voltage cabling will be installed underground with draw wires at each inverter and LV kiosk position.

A 1,600 kVA mini substation (480V/11500V) will also be built to support the solar power plant.

In simple terms, Val de Vie wants to build a 1.4 megawatt-peak solar farm that will connect to the private 11.5kV switching station.

When generation from the solar plant is not possible due to weather conditions or maintenance, the electrical supply will be obtained from the existing private Val de Vie switching station.


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