Gold Circle is going green with the installation of solar panels on the Silver Ring roof at Greyville Racecourse.

The panels are expected to generate 250kwh, sufficient to supply the electrical base load needs of the non-racing Greyville day-to-day operations. The racing operations needs, including the floodlights needed for night racing, will still draw electricity from the eThekwini Municipality.

The installation of the panels is expected to save the company around R700 000 in the first year of operation and taking into account Eskom estimated tariff increases, savings are projected to be in the region of R1.5 million per annum after 10 years.

Gold Circle is partnering with Cape Town-based firm Solar Future Energy who were awarded the tender and the panels have an expected life-span of 20 years.

Currently the eThekwini Municipality is not buying back excess electricity but given the initiatives by some municipalities in the Western Cape, it is hoped that they will eventually follow suit and Greyville will be able to feed any excess power, mainly generated over weekends, into the national grid incurring extra savings.

The installation of the panels is already in full swing and the project is expected to be completed by the end of March 2019.

Gold Circle Commercial Executive, Patrick Loker, said the installation of the solar panels was both a green approach and a way to maximising existing resources that would drastically reduce the current and future electricity accounts.

Should the project prove successful, there was a possibility of similar installations at other Gold Circle venues.