South Africa’s oldest wine estate goes solar


A historic farm which claims to be South Africa‘s oldest wine estate is going solar with the help of a crowdfunding sale.

The 337-year-old Groot Constantia farm, in the Constantia suburb of Cape Town, is trying to raise the funds for a 165 kW solar system to power its winemaking and restaurant operations.

Fellow Cape Town business Sun Exchange is running the crowdsale, under a business model which enables investors to fund individual solar cells, at a cost of ZAR 64 ($3.80) each.

Once all 43,448 cells are funded, the system will be installed and the farm will pay for the solar electricity generated at less than the wholesale price, giving Sun Exchange investors a 20-year revenue stream.

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An update provided by Sun Exchange this week indicated 633 investors from 61 countries had backed the crowdsale by investing a total of more than ZAR 2 million in 72% of the solar cells available.

At ZAR 64 per cell, the solar system will cost a total ZAR 2.78 million.

Sun Exchange said last week its projects have generated more than 12 GWh of solar electricity to date and have attracted investors from 180 countries.

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