The design itself incorporates the best technology, including the ABB powerstore and controller, Samsung lithium ion batteries and Canadian solar panels. Due to the harsh environment of the site and the iconic status of the Robben Island, every effort was made to ensure the design was world class.
For decades, Robben Island relied solely on the use of diesel generators as a power source. This project was the NDT’s first step in a phased approach to reduce the island’s reliance on fossil fuel sources and its environmental impacts.
WSP’s Power team provided an energy vision for the Robben Island Museum to include in their Integrated Resource Plan for the island. This plan aims to remove diesel from the island’s energy mix in the coming years, tackling both the demand side, by reducing the load, and the supply side by increasing the battery storage. At this point, diesel generators will remain purely as back up.
Our team conducted a baseline energy efficiency audit, which led to a program to replace inefficient light bulbs on the island and thereby reduce demand side load.
In addition, we partnered with the University of Stellenbosch on a heat pump initiative, allowing one of the university’s graduate students to complete his thesis on a revolutionary metering device that is installed in a home’s distribution board.
The device logs and measures geyser utilization over up to a year. There are approximately 60 element geysers installed on the island, and the student produced a feasibility study on replacing the geysers with efficient heat pumps. The cost of wholesale replacement should amount to approximately R1.2 million, with a projected payback period of 1.5 years.