Nedbank raises the green bar

Nedbank firmed up its ‘green status’ with the unveiling of a branch that fully offsets energy usage through renewable energy sources.

The development which Nedbank’s calls ‘Africa’s first ever banking branch to be effectively an off-the-grid outlet’, was implemented at the Lansdowne Corner situated in Cape Town.

Nedbank said the Lansdowne Corner branch utilises an innovative hybrid power installation, effectively making it a 100% off-the-grid outlet. The grid-tied renewable energy system harnesses solar and wind energy and converts this to standard mains electricity which it feeds back onto the national electricity grid – thereby offsetting all the branch’s electricity consumption.

Ciko Thomas, Managing Executive of Consumer Banking for Nedbank Retail, said “We believe that Nedbank Lansdowne Corner has set the standard for future ‘green’ banking branches in South Africa.”

The Lansdowne Corner branch was transformed to run completely on renewable energy.

“So effective is the hybrid energy installation that, during some months, it actually generates more electrical power than it uses, effectively contributing power back onto the energy grid. At this rate the set-up costs for the bank will be fully recouped in only two years where the average branch would only achieve this in five years”.

Thomas said “The off-grid hybrid installation offers proof of what can be achieved when organisations have a genuine vision for, and commitment to, contributing to a greener future for our country.”

He said the Lansdowne Corner builds on the similar success achieved previously with the implementation of South Africa’s first partially wind-powered bank branch in Du Noon, also in the Western Cape, unveiled in 2010.

James Carpy, the Technical Director of Kestrel Renewable Energy, said the hybrid grid-tied system is capable of supplying the branch’s full annual electricity demand of 70 000kWh, which can easily supply electricity for approximately six middle income households in SA. Kestrel Renewable Energy was contracted by Nedbank to undertake the Lansdowne Corner installation.

“This is a remarkable achievement particularly since it ensures that the branch’s operations will now have little to no climate change impact, thanks to its vastly reduced carbon footprint.”

According to Carpy, this innovative renewable energy solution by Nedbank will effectively help to lower South Africa’s total CO2-eqt emissions by approximately 71 tonnes per year, which equates to 25 000 litres of petrol.

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