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.
This is another important step towards the realization of the first large SUNfarming oasis for Food & Energy plants in Germany.
The metalworking Butting Group provides almost 3 ha of land in Knesebeck for the construction. The parcel is located directly behind the premises and will be leased to the project. The roofs of the solar greenhouses are partially occupied with PV modules for power generation, the area in the greenhouse under the modules is used for the cultivation of regionally produced food.
KoNaMo is based in Berlin, where actors and strategies, technologies and application scenarios for sustainable mobility in Germany are brought together.
"The Butting GmbH is an optimal project partner for us because the power is 100% accepted on weekends," explains Holger Schönherr SUNfarming project manager.
"With our Food & Energy facilities, we can give around 20 people from crisis areas, long-term unemployed and people with disabilities a chance to qualify for the first job market each year," adds Holger Schönherr.
In addition, managers should also be trained to take care of the operation and the marketing. According to the city council, the company's partners are the Oskar Kämmer School and the Federal Employment Agency.
The SUNfarming Food & Energy Training concept of solar greenhouses has been successfully applied and tested in Africa. South Africa has the best experience with this concept and we want to establish this concept in Germany as well.
The goal is to start construction by the middle of next year.