CVE backs sustainable energy for education with Sun Exchange HTS Drostdy solar project

Published: 25 Jul 2023

We’re delighted to announce that the international renewable energy leader and independent power producer (IPP), CVE South Africa ( has fully funded a large solar-plus-battery project that will power High Technical School (HTS) Drostdy, one of South Africa’s oldest and largest technical high schools

By using the Sun Exchange platform to purchase all the solar cells for HTS Drostdy, CVE is unlocking sustainable energy for education in South Africa, while creating an alternative income stream for its business over the 20-year lifespan of the solar project.

The 470.88 kW solar plus 700 kWh battery storage project, valued at over ZAR 20 M (USD 1.1 M), will provide clean power and load shedding relief to the 120-year old high school in the Paarl winelands and will supply more than half of its power.

Using a carport PV structure, the solar system will provide essential backup energy, greatly reducing the impact of near-daily scheduled power cuts or ‘load shedding’ on teaching and learning for the school’s 60 teachers and 1053 students. It will reduce 13,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year, equivalent to driving over 196 million kilometres in an average passenger vehicle.

The CVE, HTS Drostdy and Sun Exchange team on site in Worcester.

René Laks, General Manager of CVE South Africa, emphasised the importance of education and the wellbeing of future generations in the context of climate change. "At CVE, we are committed to placing people and the planet at the centre of tomorrow's energy solutions," said Laks. "Sun Exchange shares our vision and values, and we are delighted to collaborate with them on this innovative and high-impact project that unlocks decentralised renewable energy for South Africa's education sector.”

Sun Exchange’s MD, Saul Wainwright, had the following to say about the collaboration with CVE: “South African schools face an uphill battle against rising electricity costs, load shedding, and the need to transition to clean energy for the sake of future generations. CVEs purchase of the entire HTS Drostdy solar project through our platform demonstrates that businesses can be a powerful driver of sustainable energy for schools, while also looking after their bottom line.”

According to the principal of HTS Drostdy, Louis Steijn, “Our students already live in and will soon work in a highly digital world. We prepare them for this world by drawing on the latest technologies and innovations in our teaching – our robotics, 3D design and coding classes and most other classes for that matter, rely on access to an uninterrupted energy supply. This project will deliver both reliable and clean energy, while also presenting a valuable opportunity to teach students about the powerful role of technology and innovations, like Sun Exchange, in addressing the impacts of climate change.”

Since 2015, Sun Exchange has enabled solar power for nearly 80 businesses, farms, schools and other organisations in Southern Africa. Its solar projects have generated more than 19 gigawatt-hours of clean energy, avoiding more than 19,000 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.

About CVE

CVE South Africa is an international Independent Power Producer (IPP) with offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg. The CVE group has offices in France, Chile, Spain and the United States, establishing CVE as a leader in the renewable energy industry. As a group, it has successfully installed over 700 megawatt of capacity while continuously expanding its dedicated team of over 400 skilled employees around the world. CVE specialises in engineering, financing, constructing, and operating PV systems, Biogas and Hydro assets for large-scale and commercial energy off-takers. The CVE team is driven by a passion for promoting environmental and social wealth through socially equitable, economically viable, and ecologically responsible practices.