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
The municipalities of Reisdorf, Wegleben, Wolmirsleben, Harzgerode, Hennickendorf and Zahna are committed to sustainability with the construction of solar energy systems, thus making a valuable contribution to a regional energy supply. The plants were partly completed in November or EEG compliant completed until 31th of decembre this year, the grid connection is a short time later.
Each 750 kWp plant supplies clean and green electricity for more than 240 households. The CO2 savings per plant are 440,000 kg / year, on average as many as 165 middle-class cars (8l / 100km) emit per year.
"Our range of investors spans the entire breadth, from project development to service and monitoring, all from one source. We have developed a unique quality assurance system for banks and investors. Our PV components are based exclusively on high-quality materials. In addition to the certification by the TÜV Rheinland and the Photovoltaikinstitut Berlin, SUNfarming experts for quality assurance check the module factories unannounced and monitor the production for all technical components according to a particularly strict system.
An average of 7% additional capacity from our systems over the past few years confirms the premium quality of our components, "explains Martin Tauschke, SUNfarming Managing Director.
Technical and agriculture teaching staff of the correctional services from all over South Africa attended the course.
„The participants were very satisfied with the course and some even stated that it was one of the best courses they attended and the wish there was more of these types of training. They feel now they will be able to make a big difference when going back to home/work,“ says Faure van Schalkwyk, Energy Research Engineer & Trainer.
Xoli Phillips recommends SUNfarming Food & Energy:
"Food & Energy is an excellent opportunity our youth must grap with both hands. It is the best training I have ever attended. Training was so exciting and prepared us for the future. Thanks to all the facilitators who made the training so easy to understand. So professional and well versed with the course. It is much appreciated…keep up the excellent work."
A total of 200 kWp SUNfarming Solar systems provide the 2008 completed complex, including a spa with brine basin and swimming pool, with solar power in the future. Installed 120 kWp on the former cowshed and 80 kWp distributed on 5 carports. An energy concept was established even before the start of construction. In addition to the PV systems, heat is obtained from heat pumps with deep bores. A Eventsaal with 200 seats is heated with floor and wall heating. In principle, only LED lighting is used and an energy-saving technology ensures the water treatment.
"In the future, the hotel will be able to operate with renewable energy alone. This is probably unique for Germany and the project is waiting for imitation, "explains Julius Jäger, SUNfarming project manager.