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DISTRIBUTED Power Africa (DPA), a part of the Econet group of companies, has unveiled its latest solar project in Durban, South Africa, for Massmart’s Makro business, as the renewable energy company continues to drive the adoption of clean and renewable energy in commercial and industrial businesses across sub-Saharan Africa.

The Massmart’s Makro project follows the company’s recent large solar projects, which include data centre and medical facility solutions in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Nairobi, as well as an industrial solution at Schweppes Zimbabwe.

The construction of the Makro solar solution started in July with a carport system design and is set for completion this month. The chief executive officer of DPA Africa, Mr Norman Moyo said: “This is our first Massmart project, and we look forward to seeing a cascading effect within the retail sector.

For DPA, this is yet another major development in improving energy security for economic development in Africa.

“Africa has the world’s best untapped solar potential. So, solar power will most certainly be the energy of choice to increase businesses’ energy efficiencies.”

Mr Moyo said he believed that ultimately, everyone should focus on their core business, and allow power companies to run their energy.

With increased load shedding from national power suppliers across Southern Africa, stakeholders in renewable energy are debating policy in a bid to put up large solar installations to reduce the load on the grid.

DPA has been engaging commercial and industrial businesses across Africa to switch over to solar for continued productivity.

Experts say with global megatrends such as urbanisation, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and digitisation expected to double the world’s energy consumption by 2050, industry needs to be exploring alternate energy solutions now more than ever.

Alexander Haw, Massmart Group sustainability executive, says embracing renewables as an affordable and reliable alternative energy source is a key focus for his organisation.

“The partnership with DPA will see Massmart continuing to use cleaner sources of energy to achieve both cost and energy efficiencies,” Haw said. DPA finances solar solutions such as the Massmart project, at zero upfront cost to the customer, on a power lease or power purchase basis.

As part of the agreement, DPA takes full responsibility for engineering, procurement, construction and full operation of the solar plant and guarantees customers zero technical risk. DPA has solar projects in Zimbabwe, Kenya, Zambia, South Africa and DRC.
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