We have partnered with the Sun Exchange, the world’s first peer-to-peer solar leasing platform, announced that 1,204 individuals from 85 countries united to finance a 473 kilowatt (kW) solar project to provide clean electricity, reducing costs and emissions, for the wine cellar. The crowdsourced and global approach to solar finance was enabled through Sun Exchange’s innovative online platform. The solar installation is now live and generating renewable and affordable electricity.
Sun Exchange enables individuals around the world to buy, own and earn income from solar cells installed on the roofs of businesses, farm buildings, schools and other organisations in emerging markets. Solar cell owners earn income from the electricity that’s generated, while the businesses and organisations reduce electricity costs and carbon emissions.
Through Sun Exchange, we transitioned 25 percent of our energy needs to solar, with no upfront capital or ongoing operational costs for 20 years, paying only for electricity consumed. In addition, the cellar will immediately start to save on its electricity bill, with projected lifetime savings of 34 percent on the section of the cellar that is now solar operated.
“Our ethos of collaboration is at the heart of our decision to go solar during this extremely challenging time in the wine industry,” said Heini Smit, CEO, Boland Cellar. “We work hand-in-hand with nature, grape growers, winemakers and others to produce outstanding wines for the world. Now included in our collaborative ecosystem is Sun Exchange and the 1,204 individuals from around the globe who enabled us to operate more efficiently, produce wines more sustainably and safeguard jobs.”
“South Africa’s abundant sunshine helps us produce wines that are exported around the globe,” said Bernard Smuts, Cellar Master, Boland Cellar. “I am delighted and humbled that so many global citizens united to provide us with solar power, also sourced from our country’s solar abundance.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating impacts on the South African wine industry and wine farms who are eager to reduce production costs,” said Abe Cambridge, CEO and founder, Sun Exchange. “Sun Exchange offers a sustainable and affordable solution for Boland Cellar to transition to solar, without any upfront capital outlay. We’ve previously facilitated solar power for 33 similar projects across South Africa, through a global community that is committed to actively promoting a sustainable global economic recovery.”
After vetting the financial and technical viability and social and environmental responsibility of Boland Cellar, Sun Exchange hosted a crowdsale for the solar project on its platform with 87,264 solar cells available for purchase to Sun Exchange members across the globe. The crowdsale sold out fast, and the system installation started in August. The system will operate for 20 years and will be fully maintained and insured by Sun Exchange for that period. We will pay a pre-agreed rate per kilowatt hour for the electricity used. Net of cost, this fee is paid to solar cell owners as rental income for their solar cells.
About Sun Exchange
Sun Exchange is the world’s first peer-to-peer solar leasing platform, leveraging financial innovation and the power of the crowd to make the environmental, social and economic benefits of solar power accessible and affordable for all. For more information visit www.thesunexchange.com.