Karoo Fresh | 332.10 kW Solar + 640 kWh Storage | Karoo, South Africa
Installing Solar Cells
Be part of this landmark project. In the heart of South Africa’s Karoo desert, on a farm named Elandsfontein, you’ll find the Karoo Fresh team of 60+ farmworkers braving the dry, hot and unpredictable climate to grow, harvest, and export brassica (cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage), butternut, spinach and saffron – the world’s most valuable spice that grows best in dry climates.
Elandsfontein is a farm whose history spans five generations. The Karoo Fresh brand was established in 2019 and is now a pioneering saffron producer in South Africa and a leading brassica producer. Additionally, there are 1,200 sheep on-site, primarily used for wool and to graze on harvested land.
The Karoo Fresh success hasn’t been without its challenges. Due to the harsh climate of the Karoo, farming in this area leaves very little room for errors, and the team have become seasoned experts at navigating hardships caused by weather, soil and unreliable electricity supply.
For Karoo Fresh, the solar project will enable its plans to extend its reach and impact in South Africa and beyond. It will allow Karoo Fresh to continue its sustainable farming methods without the challenges of unreliable electricity sources in the region. Water supply is vital in farming – this solar project will provide greater water storage capacity during the wettest time of the year in the Karoo, enabling the development of storage dams to increase production on the farm during the driest seasons.
For Karoo Fresh, sustainable farming means taking care of the land, the environment and workers. The solar project will establish Karoo Fresh as a precedent for medium, independent, non-corporate farmers to seek sustainable and alternative ways to farm without heavily relying on centralised electricity.
As our first completely off-grid solar installation, this project marks a turning point in Sun Exchange's ability to address energy security and reliability and gives our members an opportunity to earn a higher and more predictable income. This crowdsale is for a solar + storage project and therefore has a fixed lease rate per cell per month, rather than per kWh produced like our solar-only projects. The estimated IRR of 12.08% over the full 20 year lease period is among our highest to date. The lease rate increases at 2% above inflation each year, so your earnings will become increasingly valuable over time.
Key facts include:
- Integrated battery storage means solar energy from your cells can be used 24 hours a day, maximising earnings and CO2 reduction and eliminating the risk of power outages.
- Locally manufactured batteries will streamline the installation.
- Removing the reliance on diesel generators, ensuring even further CO2 reduction.
- Lease payments are fixed per cell per month, rather than per kWh, giving you more predictable earnings.
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