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SOLAR ENERGY: Romano Completes 100 KW Solar Energy Project


Recent Gauteng Business News

Romano, a sustainable engineering contractor specializing in solar energy, signage, modular construction and LED lighting, recently completed the supply and installation of a 100 KW (kilowatt) roof-mounted photovoltaic (PV) solar energy system at the new Pick n Pay on Nicol shopping centre in Johannesburg.

PV is a sustainable, clean energy technology that harnesses the natural energy generated by the sun.

The Pick n Pay on Nicol PV project was completed on 19th October 2010, just forty-seven (47) working days after Romano was awarded the contract by Pick n Pay. The scope of the contract included the design, procurement, manufacture, assembly, installation and commissioning of the system.

The system comprises 456 polycrystalline PV modules which, during peak sunshine, generate approximately 100 kilowatts of direct current (DC) power. By means of 6 power-conditioning inverters, the DC power is then converted to alternating current (AC) power, providing approximately 25% of the electricity needed by Pick n Pay’s supermarket at the shopping centre.

Romano’s CEO Alexi Romano is inspired by the initiatives taken by companies such as Pick n Pay to minimise their environmental impact by reducing their levels of carbon emissions. Thanks to Pick n Pay’s investment in this particular 100 KW PV system, 4 000 fewer tons of carbon will be emitted into the atmosphere over the next 20 or so years.

Besides achieving environmental benefits, investing in renewable energy systems such as PV has other advantages. For instance:

 PV brings in excellent financial returns due to the saving of the cost of electricity provided by conventional means of supply.
 PV investments may create the opportunity for the owner to create and sell carbon credits
 PV requires very little or no maintenance.
 PV gives the owner independence in the event of power outages.

Romano adds that South Africa’s climate is ideal for solar energy generation. Most areas in South Africa enjoy more than 2 500 hours of sunshine per annum. This compares to about 1 700 hours for the USA, and about 1100 hours for Europe and the United Kingdom. This means that South Africa's solar resource is one of the best in the world.

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