A Bright Future for First Car Rental

by Editor on 06 April 2017
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JOHANNESBURG, GAUTENG – First Car Rental has installed its first solar power plant at First Car Rental Pomona, cementing its continued commitment to reducing its environmental impact.

The solar power plant is located across three large rooftops containing 415 photovoltaic (PV) panels (of 320 Watts ea.) at the Pomona branch, which will produce on average 226.8 MWh of electricity per annum.

The installation company, SolarXgen, started building the solar power plant in November 2016 and took three weeks to complete the project. Guaranteed for 25-yrs, SolarXgen will additionally maintain the solar system for First Car Rental.

The solar power plant is linked to the power mains via an inverter and offsets the power normally consumed from the utility company. This system does not store power – all the power generated from the PV system at First Car Rental is used on-site.

The solar power plant at First Car Rental Pomona continuously runs in tandem with the utility power grid. During the day, when the solar system outputs power, it becomes the primary provider and the utility is secondary.

Says Wayne de Jager, Executive Director and co-founder of SolarXgen (South Africa), "The solar power system is monitored via Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) control system and a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC). These systems allow remote monitoring and reporting. Our management system is able to match PV output to the building's energy demand, ensuring optimally timed consumption"

As electricity costs continue to rise, solar power is becoming a more viable and cost-effective solution. The installation of the solar power plant at First Car Rental Pomona will elicit an average monthly saving of 52.9% on the cost of electricity. The expected gross savings on electricity over the 25-year lifespan of the solar power plant equates to R28million.

The use of solar power is in line with First Car Rental's decade-long commitment to clean energy and sustainability. Over the guaranteed portion of the plant's lifetime, First Car Rental will be reducing its carbon footprint by 4964 tons of CO2.

Says Melissa Storey, Executive Head: Strategy, Development & Marketing at First Car Rental, "Over the years, First Car Rental has initiated many environmentally-friendly projects that still exist today. These include, but are not limited to, various energy and water-saving initiatives, saving tens of thousands of litres of water and reducing our carbon emissions by 44 tons per annum.

We also introduced electronic vouchers and online invoice retrieval, and our Customer Services division is a paperless environment, and not to mention our corporate Show&Go mobile checkout is a green initiative.

Renewable energy is critical to our continued fight against climate change. Harnessing solar energy for power generation is a feasible clean energy source. The solar power plant ensures that First Car Rental Pomona can become self-sustainable regarding its power needs and reduces reliance on the national grid.

This installation and our many successful and ongoing green initiatives demonstrate to staff, and to our current and future customers, that we are 'all in' when it comes to reducing our environmental impact"

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Editors Notes:
First Car Rental is a proudly South African car rental company that has been in business for over 17 years. With more than 8500 vehicles in use across South Africa and 51 car rental branches located nationwide, including branches at all major South African airports, business and tourist destinations. We also have an operational presence in Malta, Mauritius, Tanzania and Turkey.

Worldwide, First Car Rental is partnered with SIXT rent a car, one of Europe's largest car hire companies, to provide international car hire in over 100 countries and 4 500 locations.

First Car Rental prides itself on a car hire fleet that comprises of an impressive range of well-maintained vehicles ranging from no-frills models to top-of-the-range luxury cars. They also offer services such as direct transfers, long-term car rental and wedding car hire.

Keep in touch with First Car Rental
Website: www.firstcarrental.co.za
Facebook: www.facebook.com/firstcarrental
Twitter: www.twitter.com/firstcarrental
Instagram: www.instagram.com/firstcarrental
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Issued by Hot Salsa Media on behalf of First Car Rental
For more information please contact Viv Quann at viv@hotsalsamedia.co.za

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