Cape Town’s food market switches to green energy

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer
Johannesburg, 06 Jun 2024
An aerial view of some of the solar panels installed at the Cape Town Market.
An aerial view of some of the solar panels installed at the Cape Town Market.

The Mother City’s historic Cape Town Market has gone green, installing more than 3 000 solar panels to beat load-shedding woes and ensure an energy-secure future.

In a statement, the City of Cape Town says the market has officially started the commissioning of a battery energy storage and demand management system.

“This project marks a milestone for one of the oldest and largest fresh produce markets in South Africa. With over 5 500 producers delivering produce to market agents, who in turn sell to more than 8 000 registered buyers, Cape Town Market is a central player in the city’s food security,” says alderman James Vos, mayoral committee member for economic opportunities.

“With the development of this system, the market’s extensive network of technology that maintains the quality of the products and services will be further secured.”

Located in Epping, the Cape Town Market is a fresh produce market that has been operating in the country for over 50 years, and the first to include agents and buyers as shareholders.

According to the statement, the components of the storage and demand management system include interruptible loads during grid peak times and load-shedding, battery for charging during off-peak and solar production time, standby generators if other options are unavailable, as well as a programmable logic controller and intelligent algorithms automatically managing energy flow.

Philé van Zyl, chairman of the board of Cape Town Market, expressed his appreciation to all the participants who contributed to the energy management project.

“The market, which is owned by the city and leased to the Cape Town Market, is an example of a world-class site that centres people, the planet and products, while maintaining the highest standard of quality and service,” adds Vos.