RELEASE: New residential energy micro-grid for Stellenbosch development

Media Statement 

Wednesday, 12 June 2024 

Release: Immediate 

Broadreach Energy, Lesedi Renewables and Similan partner to create an innovative energy solution for Newinbosch green neighbourhood 

  • First-of-its-kind residential microgrid power service in South Africa launches 
  • Newinbosch residents get sustainable power, cheaper electricity and are generally shielded from load shedding. 
  • Broadreach Energy provides technical skills, financing experience and capital to make the microgrid a reality 

Newinbosch Neighbourhood Estate is a new sustainably designed mixed-use development outside Stellenbosch. The 48-hectare secure neighbourhood will comprise 1,330 residential units, retail and commercial spaces, sporting amenities, and schools. 

The residential development is on track to be the greenest neighbourhood in South Africa. It has already been awarded the EDGE Advanced preliminary certification and a first for Africa, the prestigious 6 Star Green Star- Sustainable Precinct v1.1 certification from the GBCSA. This achievement has been made possible by forming Newinbosch Energy, a dedicated private electricity company for the estate, which is owned, managed and operated by Broadreach Energy, a leading South African funder of renewable energy projects. Lesedi Renewables, one of South Africa’s premier engineering, project management and maintenance solutions companies, supports Broadreach with technical expertise. The forward-thinking approach adopted by Stellenbosch Municipality also played a key role in supporting the project as a model for future developments and facilitating the required approvals. 

Broadreach, in conjunction with Lesedi, designed, funded and installed a microgrid, energy storage and demand management solution for Newinbosch that will supplement the municipal supply. Unlike typical residential solar installations, Broadreach Energy achieved economies of scale with a neighbourhood-wide, meshed network of solar panels and batteries. Electricity is produced by optimally located solar panels across the neighbourhood that feed into the microgrid that powers residential properties and common areas, and the system will scale as the neighbourhood grows. 

The benefits for residents include protection from load shedding, access to sustainable power – with up to 60% of their needs coming from green sources – and lower electricity bills and annual rate escalations. Residents experience no load shedding up to stage 3. From stage 4, the system automatically reduces demand by temporarily switching off power-hungry appliances such as hot water geysers, ovens and air conditioning, while keeping essential services and appliances running. This smart load balancing both softens the impact of loadshedding at the higher stages and saves residents even more on their power bill with automatic energy efficiencies that don’t significantly impact their lifestyle. 

It was important to Similan, the developers, that the microgrid solution should be environmentally and economically sustainable, mitigate the impact of loadshedding, and offer its residents reduced power bills, while receiving the bulk of the neighbourhood’s energy from a sustainable source, like the sun. For residents of Newinbosch, it is a convenient and seamless way to access solar power. Each home is fully operational when residents move in, switchovers during load shedding are automatic, and residents deal with a single power supplier through an online and app-based portal. 

Working with Broadreach Energy made sure we got a partner for the long term. Their approach is collaborative and relationship-focused rather than transactional. They pulled technical rabbits out of hats to navigate the complexities involved in powering a varied neighbourhood and doing something no one has done before,” said Harold Spies, managing director at Similan. “As well as contributing their deep technical skills, the 

Broadreach Energy team structured the deal in a way that reduced risk, managed the variables and met everyone’s requirements. Plus, they had the capital ready to get rolling when we needed them to.” 

We have enjoyed working with Similan to get this unique solution up and running. Being flexible and collaborating always results in a better outcome for everyone,” said St.John Bungey, executive director at Broadreach Energy. “Rather than individual residents having to fund and install small, expensive solar and battery solutions, this project delivers Newinbosch residents a customised, quality solution that meets their cost, power and sustainability objectives. We’re excited to commit to this for the long-term, knowing we have a shared view of what success looks like,” he concluded. 

For more information about Newinbosch Energy, please contact St John Bungey at or call 021 812 4730 

Market Segment
System Size
Total Capacity
0 - 30 kWp
Commercial and Industrial (C&I) - SSEG
30kWp - 1MWp
C&I Large Scale and utility scale
1MWP - 50MWp
Utility Scale
> 50MWp