Sunday, June 7, 2020

As part of its commitment to help save the environment and reduce its overall carbon footprint, Peermont Hotels, Casinos and Resorts is harnessing the power of the sun at another two of its resorts – Rio Hotel, Casino and Convention Resort in Klerksdorp and Graceland Hotel, Casino and Country Club in Secunda. The newly-developed solar plants will supply enough power to fulfil 90% of Rio Resort’s energy needs, while Graceland’s new plant is expected to produce enough energy to power a whopping 155 South African homes for an entire year.

“South Africa is still largely dependent on electricity generated by means of oil and coal, both of which add to greenhouse gas build-up in the environment. We all need to work on finding alternate energy-generating solutions for the sake of our environment, and we believe that our solar energy developments at the Rio and Graceland resorts will be one of Peermont’s first steps towards a greener future,” says Dave Milne, Peermont Hotel and Resort Executive.

Rio Resort recently completed construction of a 431kWp grid-tiered solar power plant, a project that was initiated in September 2018. The solar plant is the biggest in the Matlosana area, and is divided into a 198kWp ground-mounted system and a 233kWp roof mounted system, designed to operate in conjunction with Eskom in providing power for the entire resort.  Installations took just four months to complete, and the 2.723MWp solar PV plant is now fully functional.

At Graceland, the new solar plant is approximately 395kWp in size covers an area of 2,300 square metres. The plant is expected to reduce the resort’s carbon footprint by 595 tons of CO² emissions annually. In December 2018, Graceland also installed solar water-heating systems across the property in an effort to manage energy demands more effectively.

“Solar energy is a clean source of power and produces no greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere when creating electricity,” adds Milne. “This is one of many steps Peermont is taking towards a greener future, with more plans in place for other Peermont resorts, aimed at further improving our environmental impact.”

These new solar plants are well in line with South Africa’s increasing usage of solar-powered energy. In February 2019, the first solar powered desalination plant in South Africa was officially launched. According to research, in 2014 the country was amongst the top 10 countries in the world harnessing renewable energy from the sun.

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