Going off the grid is an ideal scheme when it comes to power usage. This was the focus when it came to the Dalpark Plaza on the N17 near Boksburg on the East Rand when we decided to use a solar plant to provide power for all toll operations.
However, using solar panels for a toll plaza is not a new concept. In December 2013, Zimbabwe installed the world’s first plaza without a grid connection.
The plaza is about 20km from Bulawayo and gets most of its electricity from the solar panels that roof the lanes and collection booth. They charge two battery banks for night-time power and diesel generators have been installed as a back-up incase there is less supply in winter, when there are fewer hours of daylight.
Dalpark plaza is running completely on solar power and managed to do so within our budget.
When the panels were installed, we ensured proper testing was done so they could withstand weather conditions such as wind, rain, sunlight, heat, cold, salt and hail, as well as prepare against areas of theft.
Dalpark is an extension of our commitment to the environment and the country’s green energy drive. This product is a sign of how we intend to proceed in the future.
We are aware of the impact road building has on the environment and know that land is transformed, water resources are affected and used, substances are released in the air and waste is created. We take all of this information into account and aim to ensure we are contributing to a sustainable development.
Now that we have managed to solar power the first toll plaza in Gauteng, it makes way for possibilities in other regions too.