The Orange River Vineyard Investment (ORVI) social housing project in Aussenkehr, Namibia was awarded the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Prize 2022 on September 28. Namibian SOLTRAIN project partners Helvi Ileka from the Namibia Energy Institute and Leonhard Eins of the company Solsquare accepted the award during the EuroSun 2022 event in Kassel, Germany.
The SHC Solar Award recognizes an individual, company or private/public entity every other year for an outstanding achievement in solar heating and cooling. With this year's award, IEA SHC recognizes a social housing project in which 58 homes were equipped with solar thermal systems that avoid 120,000 kWh of electricity per year that would otherwise be generated in old coal-fired power plants and 36 tons of CO2 per year.
The hot water is used not only for showering, but also for laundry and cooking. This project has not only significantly improved the living standards and hygiene conditions of the farm workers and their families, but has also shown how simple and affordable houses can be built locally and equipped with sustainable solar technologies.
At this point it should also be mentioned that ORVI has also built a large photovoltaic system with 225 kWp on the farm. This plant supplies all houses with solar power.
The project also demonstrates that a long-standing, comprehensive training program such as SOLTRAIN, which has brought together the local and international solar industry, research institutions from Europe and southern Africa, and policy makers, is creating a framework for the widespread application of thermal solar systems. The Aussenkehr housing project is just one of 600 other solar thermal systems implemented in Southern Africa as part of the SOLTRAIN project.