Somerset College is not only affected by the ever-changing Eskom load-shedding schedule, but because we are situated in a rural area, the energy supply to the campus also often gets disrupted due to cable damage and cable theft in the surrounding farm areas.
We are very fortunate to have two generators on campus, a 130kVA generator at the Prep School and a 300kVA generator at the Senior School, to host the critical services needed to ensure we can provide for our academic offering, sports facilities, boarding houses and the maintenance of our campus - services for IT, networks, security systems, irrigation, dam and pool pumps, fridges and freezers, to name but a few. This however comes at a huge cost.
With the significant increase in load-shedding and diesel prices, the forecast for 2023 is diesel expenditure of approximately R1.7m. This is not financially viable and has an impact on the whole community.
In line with our strategic approach towards sustainability and specifically renewable energy, plans are in place to add a 110kW Solar PV system to the Boonzaier Hall roof and the adjacent Merlot Block roof spaces.
This system will not only contribute significantly to lower diesel and electricity costs, but will provide energy storage and also contribute to a greener environment. The Boonzaier Hall roof system will be Phase 1 and will provide almost half of the maximum energy demand from the Senior School transformer which peaks at 250kVA.
More phases will follow in order to maximise the use of renewable energy provisioning on campus which will eventually result in minimal dependency on Eskom. The cost of the system is approximately R5.3m. We wish to implement the project by the end of December 2023.
Somerset College needs your support to make this critical project a reality. We, therefore, invite you to make a financial contribution towards the implementation thereof.
Please note that all donations qualify for a Sec18A tax receipt on request.