Robben Island gets solar power plant

Robben Island has gone green. The island, which previously relied solely on diesel generators for energy, has transitioned to solar energy. On 19 October, Minister of Tourism, Tokozile Xasa, handed over a solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant to the Robben Island Museum (RIM). The solar PV mini-grid  will not only reduce the island’s carbon emissions by almost 940 tons per year, it will bring about a monetary saving of around R4 million per year.  

Solar energy, robben island
Minister Tokozile Xasa and D​eputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe​​ hand over the solar power plant to the Robben Island Museum

The solar PV mini-grid has the capacity of generating 666.4 kWp (kilo Watt peak) of clean energy, reducing the site’s reliance on the existing diesel generating system. The integrated system carries the entire daytime electricity load and prioritises solar PV energy generation. This is supported by an 837 kWh (kiloWatt hours) battery storage bank that allows for solar generated energy to also be used on cloudy days and at night.

Solar energy, robben island
The solar PV mini-grid on Robben Island

 This latest development is part of the Department’s vision to support sustainable tourism development.