The Caribbean region is highly dependent on imported fossil fuels to generate energy, resulting in higher CO2 emissions and electricity prices of up to 0.40 USD / kWh. These prices prevent growth in many economies in the region and lead to high business costs. Another important issue in the Caribbean is food security, where up to 80% of the food consumed has been imported.
SUNfarming Agro-Solar greenhouses or as modified free-field plants and biofuels made of 100% waste oil (UCO) are combined to form a hybrid system. The same land area is used for the production of food, electricity and heat energy. Jobs will be created in agriculture and in renewable energies. At the same time it serves as a training center for students and interested locals for e.g. Electromobility, photovoltaics and combined heat and power generation and form the technological basis for capacity building, research and technology transfer.
Emissions, energy and food costs are reduced, and future generations will be informed about the benefits of the hybrid system.
The Hybrid Training Center (HTC) is scalable and a turnkey solution that can be deployed throughout the Caribbean. It shows how the production of food, electricity and heat energy can be combined and used permanently on islands where land is limited.
The Hybrid Training Center will demonstrate the conditions for developing an economic model that will contribute to the independence of the Caribbean countries in relation to fossil fuels, the environment and the environment in a model facility dedicated to the topics of SF Food & Energy and fuel efficiency management at bioltec Improving the quality of life of their inhabitants.
Some benefits for society and the environment in numbers:
- 10,000 kWh of solar energy
- 10-15 kg of tomatoes per plant
- Up to 90% water savings
- 40,000 kWh of electricity CHP
- 16,000 liters of UCO converted into biofuel
- 80,000 kWh of thermal energy CHP
- 40 t of CO2 savings
- 95% greenhouse gas savings compared to fossil diesel
- Typically 50% less toxic exhaust gases (with similar NOx)
- Training in hydroponics, PV technology, electromobility and water saving in agriculture
- Local and independent domestic food and energy production
Read some press releases for the opening (German, Spanish):
The SUNfarming/Alensys Solar Training Center South Africa is now in operation since more than 5 years and was realised within a PPP Public Private Partnership program supported by the German DEG/KfW. The most important partner is the North-West University in Potchefstroom.
The SUNfarming Solar Food & Energy Training Centre, already in the 3rd year of operation after completion of the Public Private Partnership, offers training opportunities for students, electricians, teachers from high schools as well as start-up companies and municipal representatives from different regions and departments in South Africa. The training centre, continuously in further expansion for more training opportunities, is in full time operation and delivers fresh vegetables to the North West University Campus, a food store in Potchefstroom (Pick&Pay) as well as several catering service companies.
All SF bio food products with grade A quality are supplied to the prime quality customer Pick&Pay, all secondary quality products are directly marketed by the local SUNfarming trainees and employees in the township locations of Potchefstroom. With this, the employees earn some extra money and thus become small entrepreneurs, partially with own employers already.
The training facility was transferred to our expert skills transfer company SUNCybernetics PTY LTD (SUNCy), under the lead of North West University doctoral student Faure van Schalkwyk. This training company is exclusively used for know-how and skills transfer in the fields of solar technology and food production, operating on a cost covering, non-profit base to ensure constant high quality trainings.
After 6 years of experience, we can confirm the effectiveness of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) with its cooperative structures like DEG/KfW, and German Medium Size Companies, like SUNfarming and Alensys, for a continuous education and training program, as long as the PPP investment is kept in the hand of the German Medium Size Company.
More than 1,000 training sessions have been held so far at the SF Solar Training Center and SF Food & Energy Training Center for participants from across Africa.
Please see our first Solar Training Center marketing video and what participants say:
Newest marketing video Solar Training Center South Africa