Solar energy added as the secret ingredient to help prices stay stable
Proudly South African dough manufacturer, Goosebumps, has proven that life tastes better with bread. Not only bread, but cakes, croissants, muffins and other pastries too. Knowing how essential this is to South African life, they have also started a move towards sustainability by installing a solar plant to help curb rising electricity prices.
Over the years, small in-store bakeries have been under strain with the extremely time and labor intensive process involved in mixing dough. Goosebumps has found a way to save bakers from having to get up at 3 AM to knead their mixtures. By combining the taste of traditional recipes with today's technology, they have centralized the mixing process and now supply bakeries across the country with delicious frozen pre-mixed dough. In this way, each baker can add their unique stamp to the confectionary before it goes into the oven and enjoy an hour or two more sleep.
Additionally, the company that managed to continue production during lockdown, has made a commitment to renewable energy, starting with the installation of a solar plant at its Cape Town factory. A total of 618 solar panels, eight grid-tied inverters and 309 optimizers are now hard at work to reduce the factory’s operating costs. Solar plants continue to generate power long after their initial investment costs have been recouped.
The system, with a total capacity of 250,29 kWp, now provides almost 25% of the sites electricity needs. This will not only offset the tremendous power requirements of the factory but will also help keep the cost of dough as stable as possible.
Solar energy works by harnessing the sun’s energy using photovoltaic panels which convert it to energy. The solar plant at Goosebumps is tied to the national grid, meaning that their vision to move towards 100% renewable energy can take place over time. This connection is the result of collaboration between Goosebumps, New Southern Energy and Eskom.
Goosebumps’ system is monitored by one master controller which works together with a weather station to measure the solar radiation and panel temperature. All data is stored in a cloud-based system to ensure that this team of bakers have everything they knead to know at all times.
“Good things come to those who bake and we aim to keep making that process as convenient and cost effective as possible” said Cilliers Viljoen, CEO of Goosebumps. “The solar plant at Goosebumps makes excellent use of their roof space and will make a lasting contribution to the industry for many years to come as the best quality materials were used in an efficient design” said David Masureik, CEO New Southern Energy.