Cars.co.za boosts sustainability with Sun Exchange Karoo Fresh off-grid solar project
We’re thrilled to share the good news that leading South African automotive platform, Cars.co.za, has bought into our off-grid solar power plus battery storage project for Karoo Fresh , a commercial farm in South Africa’s Karoo district. By using the Sun Exchange platform to buy more than 16,000 solar cells, valued at over ZAR 2.5 million, */Cars.co.za/ is leveraging its balance sheet to drive sustainable energy, while creating an alternative income stream for its business over the 20-year lifespan of the solar project.
The 332.1 kW solar plus 640 kWh storage project, which is now generating electricity, is Sun Exchange’s first fully off-grid project. The project provides continuous, reliable solar power for Karoo Fresh’s irrigation system, enabling the farm to expand its production of brassica and saffron, while becoming more sustainable and cutting its reliance on costly and polluting diesel power. The project is expected to replace approximately 90,000 litres of diesel annually, avoiding an estimated 240 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year, equivalent to approximately 960,000 kilometres driven in an average passenger vehicle. Sun Exchange is in the planning stages of the next phase of the project, which will eliminate the farm’s reliance on diesel altogether.
“Our belief that business can be a powerful force for good is one of Cars.co.za’s core values and essential to our culture,” said Alastair MacMurray, co-founder, Cars.co.za. “We're proud to be associated with Sun Exchange and the Karoo Fresh solar project as part of our vision at Cars.co.za to protect our environment and be a carbon negative business. This project gave us the ability to align with a progressive business and effectively achieve our major environmental goals for 2022.”
“The Sun Exchange platform is all about enabling access to the benefits of the clean energy economy for all. With growing global focus on ESG, this increasingly includes sustainability-minded companies that want opportunities to earn while making a positive impact,” said Abe Cambridge, Chief Executive Officer, Sun Exchange. “Having Cars.co.za buy solar cells to power Karoo Fresh through the Sun Exchange platform, demonstrates the vital role the private sector can play in addressing some of today’s most pressing sustainability challenges.”
“Being located in the Karoo, an area notorious for its harsh climate, Karoo Fresh has a long history of embracing innovation and adaptation to grow our business,” said Eric Brown, Owner, Karoo Fresh. “Having continuous, reliable, affordable clean energy is a game-changer that will enable us to sustainably expand the reach and impact of our agriculture business.”
Since 2015, Sun Exchange has enabled solar power for more than 65 businesses, farms, schools and other organisations in Southern Africa. Its solar projects have generated more than 13 gigawatt-hours of clean energy, avoiding more than 13,000 tonnes of carbon emissions. Individuals and businesses from 180 countries across the world use the Sun Exchange platform to buy and own solar cells, produce clean electricity and earn with purpose. The Sun Exchange vision is a world where all people and organisations can harness affordable clean energy to ensure a healthy planet for future generations.
Cars.co.za is South Africa’s leading automotive portal, which lists more than 74,000 vehicles stocked by hundreds of dealers countrywide. According to independent web traffic auditing firm Narratiiv, Cars.co.za is the most visited motoring site in the country (with an audience of nearly 2 million unique South African users per month). Cars.co.za also has a presence on multiple digital platforms and remains one of South Africa’s top-ranked branded YouTube channels (with more than 323,000 subscribers and 108 million views).
In 2015, Cars.co.za repositioned itself as a consumer champion by optimising its editorial content for the purposes of engaging and empowering its users. Initiatives such as the Cars.co.za Ownership Satisfaction Survey, Cars.co.za Consumer Awards and the Cars.co.za Sell Car service underline the company’s objective to be the most respected and comprehensive online resource available to South African new- and used car buyers.