7 September 2023

Absa, one of South Africa's largest financial services groups, has joined forces with its employees and Sun Exchange, the global solar leasing platform, to fund a solar-with-battery system for Bizweni Campus, which includes a pre-primary school and a primary school.

The 29kW solar plus 44 kWh battery project, which is now providing clean and uninterrupted electricity, is helping to power Bizweni Campus.

The solar plant will reduce Bizweni’s municipal electricity bill by an estimated 30% and the integrated battery will help protect the campus against load-shedding-related disruptions. Over the project’s 20-year lifespan, Bizweni Campus will avoid about one million kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions. In addition, the cost savings achieved from reduced electricity expenses will provide an opportunity for Bizweni to grant an academic bursary to a high-performing Grade six student. This bursary will be utilised towards their Grade seven tuition fees in the coming year.

By deploying funds to drive sustainable energy, Absa is radically reducing the impacts of load shedding and rising energy costs for Bizweni Campus. "Absa recognises the pivotal role that it plays in shaping a sustainable future and the extent to which its business needs to reflect that in the operating choices it makes. We are pleased to be able to offer a solution that will make life better for the Bizweni Campus community while also guaranteeing the uninterrupted continuation of teaching and learning. We are committed to driving positive change and our contribution highlights our continued effort in being an active force for good within the communities that we serve,” said Johnson Idesoh, Group Chief Information and Technology Officer at Absa.

“With our global community, Sun Exchange works at the forefront of unlocking the benefits of solar energy and energy storage for non-profit organisations, schools, and other organisations. With more sustainability-minded companies like Absa joining this community and stepping in to fund projects like this one, we can make the benefits of clean energy available to all,” said Saul Wainwright, Managing Director at Sun Exchange. “Initiatives like these are a great demonstration of the leadership role of the private sector in addressing our most serious environmental and social challenges.”

According to Justus Swart, Campus Manager for Bizweni Campus, “Many of the services that we provide to children and adults in our community depend on having access to reliable and affordable electricity.” Swarts adds, “We’re thrilled that this innovative project is enabling us to continue this critical empowerment work while also reducing our costs and carbon emissions in the long run.”