Freedom Won and Thaba Solar takes Louma Boerdery off-grid

The largest off-grid irrigation system in South Africa

There are no limitations to the power of renewable energy! This is clearly visible in the Louma Boerdery project where an entire 2 500 ha farm has been taken completely off the grid with another 1000 ha to be completed soon!

Freedom Won and Thaba Solar joined forces to provide Louma Boerdery (the project client) with the stability and peace of mind that they urgently needed, to be completely independent from the Eskom grid and instead rely on renewable energy for the daily irrigation of their farms.

Running a successful and profitable business is a difficult task on its own. Without a stable power supply supporting business activities, the task becomes almost impossible for many businesses.

Agriculture requires an energy input at all stages of the production process from operating farm machinery, water management, irrigation systems, cultivation  and harvesting. Lourens du Plessis from Louma Boerdery explains that missing irrigation targets on some crops for only two or three days, at the critical part of the growth cycle, can decrease crop yields by as much as 10%.

To date Louma Boerdery has converted six large farms to solar energy, removing them completely from the Eskom grid. “Fairfield B” farm, situated near Thabazimbi will be our primary project focus for this case study. This farm has extensive pivot irrigation systems and has been running completely off-grid since December 2021. 

This momentous achievement was made possible through the installation of a Freedom Won designed containerised energy storage solution, incorporating batteries from the Freedom Won LiTE Industrial range with ATESS commercial battery inverters.


Freedom Won offers top-quality energy storage solutions and products with leading technology and innovation that is proven to enhance performance, functionality, and reliability to meet all the client’s needs. Since 2004, Freedom Won has been striving to provide the most reliable, affordable, and cleanest energy storage systems.

Freedom Won’s LiTE solutions are designed for optimal return on investment, securing long-term energy costs far below most grid tariffs.


The Eskom infrastructure in rural farming areas have been declining due to years of inadequate maintenance and lack of upgrades. Louma Boerdery experienced power outages on a regular basis lasting for days at a time, creating massive uncertainty.

Lourens expressed the need to eliminate his dependency on the Eskom grid to ensure energy security and to enjoy independence for sustainable profitable business operations. This decision was based on the billing savings obtained by a disconnection, and the forecast that the quality of supply from Eskom would continue to worsen.


Louma Boerdery uses pivot irrigation systems to water the crops from the nearby Crocodile River. The electric irrigation pumps must run at specific time slots and on particular days that are ideal for the crop growth cycle. With Load shedding and unplanned power outages relating to the decaying infrastructure, these specific irrigation timetables could not be met. This resulted in major yield losses on a regular basis.

Arial view of the solar panels on Louma Boerdery


Based on the needs analysis done by Freedom Won and Thaba Solar a solution was developed to build proven technology – lithium iron phosphate batteries from Freedom Won and commercial battery inverters from ATESS, into a containerised solution.

The key is to properly understand the farm’s power needs in terms of peak demand, daytime energy consumption, and night-time energy consumption. Night-time energy is more expensive because daytime energy loads can be directly consumed from the solar panels. At night, the energy has to be obtained from the Freedom Won batteries. The costs of the batteries are higher compared to the cost of the solar panels, which means night-time energy has a higher average cost.

The standard procedure on the farm is to irrigate all crops at night as it reduces the amount of water lost. This was problematic as the cost is higher at night but, based on the calculations provided by Lourens, it was determined that he could irrigate the fields mostly in the daytime and only occasionally at night when catchup is necessary.

 The battery size could be optimised (reduced) and more emphasis placed on solar power. Irrigation now typically starts at 07h30 and runs until 18h00 each day without interruption.

The entire project was funded by Louma Boerdery and comprises a series of sources, including bank loans. The repayments on these loans are less than his previous Eskom charges, which means Lourens now has a stable renewable energy solution that is costing him less.



To date, this project has been identified as the largest off-grid solar plant solution that’s running an irrigation system. The system offers world-leading value and performance from a battery system designed and built by Freedom Won in South Africa, specifically for South African needs and conditions.

The LiTE battery models from the Freedom LiTE Industrial Range (used in this project) are the largest and can be paralleled for any battery capacity requirement.


  • The main plant is contained in three converted air-conditioned 12m shipping containers that collectively house the below list of primary components:
    • Batteries – 2 x Freedom Won LiTE Industrial 1200/960HV+ (1200kWh per battery)
    • Battery Inverters – 3 x ATESS PCS500 (500kW per inverter – total 1.5MW)
    • Bypass Cabinets – 3 x ATESS 500kW Bypass Cabinets
    • Transformers – 3 x ATESS 500kW Transformers
    • 5 x ATESS PBD250 DC Charge Controllers (each harnessing 250kW from the sun)
    • 1 x ATESS Shinemaster data logger and Internet gateway
  • 30 SMA Sunny Tripower 25kVA 3 phase PV inverters are installed under the panel arrays
  • The total solar panel installation is rated to produce a 2MW peak.
  • The containers act as permanent inverter and battery rooms that allow for a quick and easy installation on site. These containers also make the equipment easy to relocate if needed.
  • There is also a generator room beside the containers with two 500kW generators. These generators are used only when high irrigation demands occur. The battery inverters automatically control the generators



If you are specifically in the agricultural industry, you may be considering going off grid. So, when is a suitable time to make the change?

Circumstances differ, but ultimately when you are facing a significant energy-security issue or if you are concerned about the profitability of your business operations, then adding Freedom Won batteries to your energy supply, or even going completely off grid may be a viable option.

Freedom Won makes it possible to choose a specific model battery that suits your needs and budget, with the opportunity to upscale the system as your energy requirements or budget increases.

Various funding support options exist for businesses to install solar and storage solutions that typically end up costing much the same as the grid from day one, and less over time.



Freedom Won guarantees that our batteries will achieve a minimum 10-year service life or deliver at least 4000 charge-discharge cycles, whichever event should occur first. The lifespan of the solution implemented at Louma Boerdery is expected to last 20 years, with an allowance for a battery service around year 13.


Thaba Solar are solar power specialists in South Africa’s Limpopo region and surroundings. They have a strong technical team with decades of combined solar photovoltaic experience. The Fairfield B project was managed by Gert Visser, the managing director.

Thaba Solar specialises in solar photovoltaic (PV) system designs, installations, maintenance, and energy consulting. They have partnered with industry experts, such as Freedom Won to deliver cost-effective energy storage solutions, by meeting all your personal or industrial needs.

Thaba Solar offers a comprehensive range of solar solutions, including:

  • Customer energy needs analysis
  • Photovoltaic solar system design
  • Solar installation – both custom and turnkey solutions
  • Maintenance of solar panel systems
  • Solar panel cleaning
  • Energy audits
  • Energy efficiency consulting


The technology and capability exists in South Africa to execute large commercial and industrial solar off grid projects as evidenced by the Fairfield B project. The long-term energy cost of such a solution is lower than most utility costs, and provides uninterrupted, secure renewable energy.

Freedom Won caters for a wide variety of needs from residential to commercial and industrial. Our LiTE energy storage battery solutions are designed for optimal return on investment, securing long term energy costs far below most grid tariffs.

The reasons for moving off the grid can be personal, or business related. Thaba Solar and Freedom Won helped mitigate Louma Boerdery’s operational risks and secured its sustainability and future business.


Read more on this project on “Maroela Media” >>>

“Sonkrag bring vryheid vir boerdery”

Team Freedom Won’s passion for Renewable Energy CANNOT BE CONTAINED
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November, 2021
Freedom Won (Pty) Ltd (Pty) Ltd
9 Zeiss Rd Kimbult Industrial Park
Building C3 & C4
Laser Park

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November, 2021
Freedom Won (Pty) Ltd (Pty) Ltd
9 Zeiss Rd Kimbult Industrial Park
Building C3 & C4
Laser Park

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