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US agency provides grant to support rooftop solar plans for Western Cape government in South Africa

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) awarded a US$ 545 000 grant to the Green Cape Sector Development Agency NPC (Green Cape), serving on behalf of the Western Cape Government's (WCG) Department of Transport and Public Works, to evaluate the technical and financial feasibility of implementing a large-scale rooftop solar photovoltaic project for the generation of renewable energy for the WCG’s own use in its buildings situated in Cape Town's central business district.
The grant will fund a review of the Western Cape's solar irradiation, the WCG's electricity needs, and solar photovoltaic and energy storage technologies, and will develop a conceptual design for the project and financing options.

US Consul General Erica Barks-Ruggles and Green Cape CEO Francois du Plessis signed the grant at the US Consulate General in Cape Town, with WCG's Minister for Transport and Public Works Robin Carlisle witnessing.

"The US Embassy is pleased to partner with Green Cape and the Western Cape Provincial Government in facilitating the uptake of clean energy in South Africa," said Consul General Erica Barks-Ruggles. "Green economy initiatives like these create jobs while improving our environment."

"Our vision at Green Cape is for the Western Cape to become the base for renewable energy and related green economy businesses which will be the driver of growth and job creation in South Africa. This solar rooftop project is one of the many reasons why Green Cape was established in 2010. We are trusting that our on-going involvement in strategic projects such as this will entrench our role in ensuring that the barriers to the growth of the green economy in the Western Cape are minimised and that the Western Cape becomes the investment destination of choice for businesses involved in the African Green Economy," said Green Cape CEO Francois du Plessis.

"Through our Public Works Green Economy Steering Committee, the Western Cape Government is dedicated to fulfilling our 110% Green commitments through the promotion of clean energy and energy efficient solutions at government buildings. We will continue to employ measures that reduce electricity consumption and thereby reduce carbon emissions, make use of our own renewable energy generation (through rooftop PV solar), and ensure that government buildings embrace whatever green and sustainable practises are feasibly available. We have committed to ensure that all new Western Cape Government buildings are at least 4-star Green Building Council rated, with the new Khayelitsha Shared Services Centre (currently under construction) enjoying the Province's first 5-star rating. The work that this grant is to facilitate will ultimately go a long way to help achieve the Western Cape Government's goal of reducing electricity consumption in all provincial buildings in the CBD and 3 hospitals by 15% by mid-2014," said Minister Carlisle.

Additional information: Full details
News date: 11/09/2013

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