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Heineken SA bets on solar to cut carbon emissions


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A new solar power plant at the South African arm of Heineken will supply 30% of a brewery’s electricity demand, the brewer said on Wednesday, the latest company to seek an alternative supply as the state utility’s rolling power cuts hammer productivity.

“This project supports Heineken’s ‘Brewing a Better World’ goal to reach net zero (carbon emissions) status in all its production sites by 2030,” Richard Kriel, Heineken’s Engineering, Strategic Projects & Sustainability Manager said. “It is the latest move made by the company on its journey towards more sustainable brewing.”

Kriel was speaking at a launch event for the solar power plant at the company’s Sedibeng, Midvaal brewery.

The plant, which began producing power in May, is the largest freestanding solar plant powering a brewery in South Africa, and the largest within the Heineken group, boasting 14 000 panels with an energy capacity of over 6.5 megawatts. It will provide 30% of the brewery’s electricity demand, the company said.

The 19 hectare (47-acre) project will generate 17 000 megawatt hours of electricity a year, Heineken added.

State utility Eskom regularly implements rolling power cuts, termed “loadshedding,” as it struggles to meet demand.

The solar plant, which has an estimated lifespan of 25 years, has been undertaken in partnership with The SOLA Group, a vertically-integrated provider of renewable energy solutions in South Africa.

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