Photo: Pasific Energy
Hundreds of Tesla Powerwalls are used to provide uninterrupted power to the TFG chain of stores in South Africa. TFG is the first retail group in South Africa to pilot Tesla batteries. The move is part of ongoing efforts to cope with load shedding.
TFG Limited, also known as The Foschini Group, is a South African JSE listed retail clothing group, which trades under various brands and has more than 3,000 stores within its portfolio. TFG is the first retail group in South Africa to pilot the Tesla Powerwall to combat the effect of load shedding on its store base, News24 reports.
TFG told the publication that it is the largest buyer of Tesla Powerwall units in South Africa, although not the first firm to buy them. The group ordered 227 Tesla Powerwalls at the end of July and another 80 at the end of August, bringing the total to 307 units. To date, they have been installed at 43 stores, and TFG is accelerating the deployment of systems.
While purchasing a Powerwall system requires a significant upfront cost, with load shedding reaching unprecedented levels over the past two weeks, businesses across South Africa are investing heavily in backup storage to ensure they can continue to trade when power is interrupted. TFG said business continuity measures have been put in place at many of its stores. The group says the system meets their needs while having the added benefit of zero operating costs. The company stated:
“Yes, any of the backup power options available typically come with a substantial upfront cost. Ultimately though, these systems will allow for many of our stores to trade through periods of load shedding, while maintaining the lighting systems, point-of-sales devices and other technology. In many cases after experiencing load shedding, it can take some time for our systems to fully recover and having uninterrupted power to our stores assists with that too.”
An initial order of 227 Powerwall units will help the 130 stores that have the biggest impact on the company's turnover and profit cope with the risk of a power outage, while an additional 80 will be earmarked to support another 68 stores to mitigate the effects of power outages.
“In total, these systems will be in 198 TFG stores nationwide. In many major centres, and to the extent possible, the group has already secured alternate sources of electricity from landlords, for example from backup generators, and so it becomes a case-by-case evaluation based on the location of our stores,” the company added.
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