Cape Town Restaurant Uses Aquaponics and Solar Energy

moyoBy Kelsey Jourdan

In 1998, founder Jason Lurie had the idea to combine his love for African art, music, design, cuisine and crafts into a unique dining experience. He started Moyo as a small restaurant in Norwood, Johannesburg that served both authentic African food and music. Now, distinctive food and music are the foundation of eight Moyo locations, each with its own personality relative to its surroundings.

Moyo V&A Waterfront is located in Clock Tower square where visitors can experience “the first ever moyo Souk – an open-air marketplace where you can indulge in African produce and street food offered by the 20 stalls dotted on the waters edge.” Moyo worked closely with New Southern Energy (NSE) and other collaborators in taking a bold step to becoming the first-of-its-kind, fully sustainable organic food market at the V & A Waterfront, Cape Town.

The food market opened in November last year, allowing local and international patrons to enjoy the fresh and unique dining concept. Diners are now able to enjoy the sea breeze on the edge of the waterfront canals, with a fresh food market that makes use of a sophisticated aquaponics system that grows organic vegetables for use in the main kitchen and food stalls.

NSE worked closely with Moyo to understand the needs of the food market before designing the energy system. NSE installed a 22 kW gird-tie photovoltaic (PV) solar array over the outdoor arcade to provide the food market with renewable energy. As a result, the aquaponics system does not use any additional energy from Eskom and showcases a sustainable and environmentally conscious way of living. Excess energy produced by the solar panels will be used in the main kitchen, further reducing reliance on Eskom.

Guests are able to enjoy a dining experience that is environmentally sustainable. Urban Farm designed the unique aquaponics micro-ecosystem. Consisting of fish, microbes, worms and vegetables. A wide variety of vegetables are grown at the food market and provides the outdoor food stalls and main kitchen with a constant supply of fresh, completely-organic vegetables.This creates a truly sustainable way of growing and enjoying healthy vegetables.

This is what the completed PV solar installation looks like

NSE’s PV solar panels create direct current (DC) when the sun shines. All the appliances in the moyo kitchen and food market use alternating current (AC). An inverter is used to convert DC to AC for use in the food market.

The PV solar panels are north facing and set at an angle of 26° to maximise the direct sun shine in winter and summer. The average production of energy is closely monitored and produces roughly 98 kWh per day.

On glorious Cape Town days, patrons will be able to enjoy the shade provided by the solar panels.

Saving energy and saving money

The PV solar system will produce approximately 36,000 kWh per annum. The cost of electricity at the V&A waterfront is R1.50 (2012/2013) per kWh. This means that Moyo will save R 54,000 in the first year. The investment in renewable energy by Moyo will pay itself off in seven years. The system will last longer than 20 years and will be regularly maintained to ensure continued optimum performance.

Remote monitoring and detailed reports on system performance.

NSE will be monitoring the performance of the system through a sophisticated remote metering solution. The energy produced by the solar panels and the overall performance of the system can be viewed online from anywhere in the world. This empowers Moyo and NSE to quickly identify any issues with the performance of the system.

About New Southern Energy

NSE specialises in custom energy solutions for clients, focusing on energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. NSE provides turnkey solutions from initial assessment through to post-installation maintenance and reporting. NSE forms long-term partnerships with clients to ensure the required energy solutions are achieved and the client’s needs are met. The Moyo food market at the V&A Waterfront is an exciting partnership with NSE and is aligned with both organisations’ combined vision of creating an environmentally sustainable way of life.

Kelsey Jourdan is a “go-green” fan, massive fan of New Southern Energy work and a
foodie lover at heart.

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