A group from the Department of Environment and Nature Conservation (DENC) recently visited Droogfontein Solar Power to see firsthand what the photovoltaic plant entails and to better understand how this solar project operates. They also wanted to comprehend any risks that may be associated with providing electricity to the ESKOM grid and the logistics behind the operation of such a large project. “We were pleased to receive positive feedback from the Department representatives regarding our operations and we are looking at sharing climatic data that will benefit the DENC,” said Mpho Makhetha, Plant Manager of Droogfontein Solar Power.
Both the DENC and the solar farm believe that is beneficial to the community in general, to ensure that development and environmental responsibilities are balanced. Improved understanding of environmental concerns and operations can only be of benefit to all. The DENC has expressed their wish for developers to understand the Department’s environmental concerns better so that they can improve the collective environmental impact management of these developments. Ideally relationships between the DENC and the Renewable Energy projects should be actively built upon.
“The visit wasn’t in any way a compliance site visit, but rather an opportunity to gather information and to improve the DENC’s knowledge regarding our solar farm. We hope to forge a positive working relationship with solar farms for the advantage of the community,” concluded Elsabe Swart, Deputy Director Research and Development Support, Department Environment & Nature Conservation.