Nedbank, which claims to be Africa’s first carbon-neutral financial institution, has established Africa’s first partially wind-powered bank branch in the area of Du Noon in the Western Cape.
Powered by a Kestrel e300i 1kW wind turbine which converts wind energy into electricity, renewable clean energy is supplied to the branch and reduces the consumption of electricity from the national grid. In addition, clean energy is stored to supply the branch during any power failures, ensuring business continuity.
"As an organisation that is totally committed to championing green issues and promoting sustainability throughout our operations, we are excited about the potential for wind energy power to become a significant source of renewable energy, especially in the Western Cape where there is an obvious abundance of wind," says Ciko Thomas, managing executive for consumer banking.
As a result of the installation of the wind turbine, this pilot site is predicted to enjoy a reduction of up to 35% in its electricity bill thanks to the production of an average of 7.8kWh of wind-powered electricity per day. In the case of a power failure the branch will continue to maintain its power through a battery tank for at least two hours. It will further save 2.7 tons of greenhouse gases from being emitted into the atmosphere every year and 2.8 tons of coal from being burned every year.
"This innovative wind-powered initiative is not only good for the environment, but it also cuts electricity consumption costs and reduces pressure on Eskom’s national grid network," says Thomas.
Significantly, wind power consumes no fuel and emits no air pollution, unlike traditional fossil fuel power sources.