South Africa's biggest property group to double solar power capacity by July


South Africa's biggest property group to double solar power capacity by July


Growthpoint Properties , South Africa's largest-listed property group, said it will expand its solar power capacity in response to increasing energy costs amid persisting rolling blackouts.

Eskom, the state-owned electricity utility, has imposed the worst power outages on record, leaving households without power for up to ten hours a day. These outages have had a substantial impact on retail tenants, compelling them to pay exorbitant costs for diesel to run generators.

Growthpoint has announced its plan to more than double its renewable energy output in the coming months, generating up to 27.4 MWp to power its retail sites, up from the current 13.5 MWp, by the end of June.

On Tuesday, smaller competitor Attacq announced plans to reduce its reliance on diesel generators in favor of solar and battery power.

Despite the decision to increase its renewable energy generation, Growthpoint will continue to use diesel generators while waiting for regulatory clarity on renewable energy usage from the government, which is expected to amend some rules under the national state of disaster.

In the six months to December 31, Growthpoint spent 47 million rand ($2.55 million) on diesel to power generators across its South African portfolio. This increased its operating expenses, which increased in the period.

"Our focus remains steadily optimising our South African portfolio, including reducing its reliance on the national electricity grid and fossil fuels," Chief Executive Norbert Sasse said.

Growthpoint recently reported a 1.3% rise in distributable income per share, although the company cautioned that growth could be subdued in 2023 as a result of the uncertain global macroeconomic situation.








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