Current Issue 52
The Power is Yours
New Southern Energy is South Africa’s leading full-service renewable energy provider, offering individual and impartial energy advice and solutions
Writer: Phoebe Calver
Project Manager: Donovan Smith
In 2010, New Southern Energy emerged into the Solar PV market, specialising in off-grid / microgrid services, with additional offerings in solar hot water installations and energy management solutions throughout Southern Africa.
The Company was founded by the current CEO, David Masureik and CFO, Deepak John, supported by a small but driven team with the ability to see projects through to completion successfully. New Southern Energy has subsequently established a reputation as the leading turnkey renewable energy solutions provider in the sector. Over time, this has enabled the development of a bigger team that can be distributed and spread across the different departments within the business.
Through Masureik and John’s commitment to quality and honesty, a professional and dynamic young team has formed, driven by the core values demonstrated by the Company’s leadership.
“Our flagship 2.2MW rooftop project was completed successfully in mid-2016, with a number of other projects completed and many in the pipeline for this year,” explains Ramon Tavenor, Chief Operating Officer. “Our business is continuing to grow throughout Africa and we are finding great success in both on and off-grid markets.”
In the present day, New Southern Energy is built up of departmental teams that comprise engineers, technicians, sales technicians, actuaries, accountants and project managers, all of which are led by a strong team of chief officers.
“Our strong team include some of the best-in-class when it comes to hot water, especially when it comes to hot water renewable solutions and energy management, which are an integral part of the renewable set of services we offer,” explains Tavenor. “We are also lucky to have a strong backing from European energy investors, all of which gives us the ability to offer financing for our projects.
“We pride ourselves on offering what is best for our client at every turn, and subsequently there is a fine balance of optimisation required in order to offer the best systems, while maintaining high energy yield at acceptable prices. It has become more noticeable that once our systems are installed, we drive the importance of obtaining operations and maintenance contracts, maximising systems lifetimes.”
A core principle in the Company over the years has been the focus on skills development within the team, promoting and importantly covering the multitude of trainings and professional registrations required to ensure the Company remains an innovative leader within the industry.
“The level of training we are able to offer lends itself well to employee empowerment and job satisfaction,” continues Tavenor. “The Company has very clearly outlined values and principles to ensure our employees fit well into the New Southern Energy family.”
The human resources team are locally educated, with additional foreign resources available for continued strategic expansion into Africa.
“South Africa Is the foundation of our Company, however as we grow in stature we want to spread our services across the continent,” describes Tavenor. “At New Southern Energy, we strongly believe that renewable energy is the key resource when it comes to providing power to Africa, particularly when you take into account that only a minimal amount of the population has access to power.
“We strongly believe that by using our solutions, New Southern Energy can make a meaningful impact when it comes to improving the lives of millions; it is engrained within us to drive towards achieving that goal.”
Specific areas of focus
New Southern Energy has established itself in the industry as microgrid specialists, with a specific market focus within Africa.
“We believe that the energy storage sector has a large scope for further development and cost reductions,” adds Tavenor. “Microgrid control systems are particularly complex and key for seamless distribution of isolated energy supplies throughout Africa, which is our strategic area of focus.
“Our clients are our primary concern, so we do not take unnecessary risks with unproven technology, however, we are constantly striving to work with new advanced technologies. In a pioneering project, we recently installed the second Tesla Power Pack on the continent specifically for a remote location where fuel is a logistical challenge and costly. Up to 90 percent fuel reduction and 22 hours of silent energy supply was a revolutionary concept for the hospitality company that worked with on the project.”
New Southern Energy’s key offerings consist of assessment, design, supply, financing, implementation and the ongoing maintenance of renewable projects in both the public and private sector.
“Taking into account the extensive experience in the renewable energy sector, our team of specialists has the technical and professional skills that are required to successfully implement projects throughout Africa,” continues Tavenor.
“Spanning the entirety of a project, from the original consultation to the financing services, our team works tirelessly to offer the full spectrum of services and skills that are required to implement successful energy projects.”
The Company offers a wide array of grid-tied solar solutions; these systems are connected to the national grid and reduce the sites’ demand by subsidising with cleaner and cheaper energy produced by solar.
“We have found from experience that many commercial sites have high daytime energy demand and subsequently they are looking to supplement the supply through alternative energy - more often than not using solar - which will offset a large portion of their energy bill,” Tavenor says.
For the more remote sites that have limited grid access, off-grid solutions are often applicable; these sites will run off diesel generators at which operational costs can run as high as $0.60/kwh.
“The hybrid solutions we offer will convert a site so it is able to run off renewable energy, in turn saving up to 90 percent of its previous diesel consumption,” explains Tavenor. “This is achieved through the combination of an alternative energy supply, utility scale battery bank and smart grid generator management.”
Of course, careful planning and assessment needs to be conducted for projects of that nature and New Southern Energy has vast expertise in that area.
“With our focus on balance between quality installations and acceptable cost, we believe our main differentiators are our quality, service and asset management,” concludes Tavenor. “With this orientation of quality and service, we believe New Southern energy will become one of the largest providers of distributed energy and asset management in Africa.”