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Frankfort Solar

Updated: Feb 6, 2022

Our dream project becomes a reality

The recent instability seen in a number of provinces amid an ever-shrinking national economy, accentuates the unemployment issue, the greatest challenge that we face in this country and our region. While the official rate is stated to be in the order of 34%, MBF estimates this to be much higher in Mafube – easily double that. The obvious solution to this urgent problem, is to facilitate and stimulate local development on a huge scale.

MBF have, through progressive and expansive thinking, and appreciation for the resources available to us, concluded an arrangement that will serve our mission to grow our local economy by attracting industry and investment in our region in order to provide for the many job opportunities we so urgently need to create.

As a first step MBF have partnered with Rural Free State (RFS) to establish Frankfort Solar (Pty) Ltd, which is currently building a 3,66 MW solar energy generation plant on Strasburg farm just to the North of Frankfort, expected to come on line during early 2022. The effect thereof would be an immediate and substantial reduction of reliance on the national grid, with associated reduction of distribution costs, which will in turn lead over time, to greater reliability and reduced costs to end users, particularly business owners.

Shareholding in Frankfort Solar for the community is fully subscribed for the current phases 1&2 but with the further expansion (another 100MW envisaged in phase 3), more opportunities will arise for local investors.

A unique solar solution for business and residents

Embodying some serious out-of-the-box thinking, we are now in a position to offer a unique solution residents and business owners considering investing in solar energy for their homes or businesses. Members of MBF (families and businesses) can now purchase “virtual” solar generation allotment modules/units of 1kW* at a sensible rate and without the pitfalls of installing actual solar generation systems at their homes or places of business.

Customers as MBF members, will therefore in effect, use electricity actually generated elsewhere (at the central RFS site), at their registered address with any surplus being exported to RFS at the current Small Scale Embedded Generation (SSEG) export tariffs.

The MBF member will receive all the electricity actually generated by its allotment over a 15-year period, less 17.5% of the kWhs generated, which deduction will be applied by RFS for its operational costs.

There is a limit imposed by NERSA (NRS 097-2-3:2014) which determines that for domestic purposes, 25% of a customer’s Notified Maximum Demand (NMD) to a maximum of (20kVA or 16 kW) is permissible.

Some advantages of "going solar virtual"

Savings on energy costs from day one;

  • entry into solar electricity generation at a very affordable rate – lower cost than any individually-purchased grid-tied solar system;

  • no need to engage in the whole process of sourcing suppliers/contractors, and without the risk of sub-standard equipment and associated issues – warranty is carried by RFS;

  • optimised sizing to take best advantage going solar - no risk of over-sizing and unnecessary costs;

  • in the unlikely event of outages, RFS repair teams are on standby, 24/7;

  • no permission required from municipal planning department;

  • no need for structural assessment as for roof mounted systems;

  • no additional home insurance costs;

  • There are no risks – each allotment is fully safe-guarded against fire, theft and lightning.

  • No need for periodic maintenance and cleaning – allotments are managed and maintained by RFS;

  • Pre-paid or post-paid, domestic and commercial customers can buy in;

  • A purchase agreement between RFS and individual customers will be in place;

  • Ownership period of allotment units will be transferable and/or usage address amended from time to time as needed;

  • Upgrades can be done at any time in future and additional allotments purchased.

Making good financial sense

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