First Car Rental Launches New ‘Green’ Initiative

First Car Rental Launches New ‘Green’ Initiative

First Car Rental has installed a new power plant in Pomona to reduce its carbon footprint.

First Car Rental has installed its first solar power plant at First Car Rental Pomona (Kempton Park, Johannesburg) in an effort to reduce its environmental impact. The use of solar power is in line with First Car Rental’s decade-long commitment to clean energy and sustainability. The installation of the solar power plant will elicit an average monthly saving of 52.9% on the car rental company’s cost of electricity, with the expected gross savings on electricity over the 25-year lifespan of the solar power plant equating to R28m. Over the guaranteed portion of the plant’s lifetime, First Car Rental will reduce its carbon footprint by 4 964 tons of CO2.

The solar power plant is located across three large rooftops containing 415 photovoltaic (PV) panels of 320 Watts each at the Pomona branch, which will produce on average 226.8 MWh of electricity per annum. The installation company, SolarXgen, started building the solar power plant in November 2016 which took three weeks to complete. Guaranteed for 25 years, SolarXgen will additionally maintain the solar power system for First Car Rental.

The solar power plant is linked to the power mains via an inverter and offsets the power normally consumed from the utility company. This system does not store power – all the power generated from the PV system at First Car Rental is used on-site. The solar power plant at First Car Rental Pomona continuously runs in tandem with the utility power grid. During the day, when the solar system outputs power, it becomes the primary provider and the utility is secondary.

Says Melissa Storey, Executive Head: Strategy, Development & Marketing at First Car Rental: “Renewable energy is critical to our continued fight against climate change. Harnessing solar energy for power generation is a feasible clean energy source. The solar power plant ensures that First Car Rental Pomona can become self-sustainable regarding its power needs and reduces reliance on the national grid,” she concludes.

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