Water is a scarce resource in many areas and therefore an important aspect of our environmental management. Our main use of water relates to module cleaning in the operations phase of our projects. Various water sources are used in different locations including groundwater and potable water from municipal water networks. The amount of water needed depends on vegetation, module soiling, natural cleaning due to precipitation and cleaning methods utilised.
Water conservation awareness, minimising water use for dust suppression by maintaining road conditions and monthly monitoring to identify causes of abnormal volumes are among the management considerations implemented at all plants. Efficiency is sought by avoiding unnecessary washing cycles and using effective washing methods like spraying. We report on water extraction by source and volume for our projects located in water-stressed areas. Our projects in South Africa and Jordan are located in areas of medium or high-water risk as defined by the World Resources Institute’s “Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas”.
14% reduction in water usage in Jordan in 2020
Jordan: The large water use is primarily due to high soiling levels, and results from more frequent cleaning cycles compared to other locations. In 2019 we implemented the Ma’an module washing improvement initiative where existing spraying nozzles were replaced with more efficient ones. Our water-saving initiative combined with COVID-19 restrictions and favourable weather conditions, led to a 14% reduction in water usage, meeting our target for 2020. We are content with the reduction in water usage and will continue to implement efforts in water stressed areas.
South Africa: Water-use licences for each facility are issued by the Department of Water and Sanitation, depending on the aquifer’s size and other uses. Water volumes extracted for our plants are considerably below the volumes authorised by the licences.