Solar has emerged as a favorite source of power for many businesses in the country due to its reliability and low cost compared to Kenya Power’s electricity. Kenyan businesses have continued to make massive clean leaps towards embracing clean energy options for its growing economy by shifting to solar energy.
Here’s a list of such businesses as compiled by a Kenyan on Twitter (Kirigwi, The Rainmaker)
- Nairobi’s Garden City Mall
Back in 2015, Garden City Mall set up a Sh207.8 million solar carport to generate 1,256-megawatt-hours annually from the 3,300 solar panels installed on the topmost car park shade, projecting that this would help it cut power bills by about Sh31.6 million annually. At the time this was the largest solar carport in Africa.
2. London Distillers Ltd
In 2016, London Distillers engaged Solarcentury to deliver the largest solar roof project in East Africa, the1 MWp roof solar system installed in Athi River would help it offset the need for grid energy and save at least Sh18.4 million annually over the system lifespan of 25 years.
3. Williamson Tea
In 2014, Williamson Tea unveiled, by then, East Africa’s largest solar project at its Changoi Tea Farm in Bomet County, Western Kenya. The solar system cut Williamson Tea’s energy costs by around 30pc, supplying clean solar electricity during the daytime to meet most of the tea processing factory’s energy demand. Williamson Tea’s system reduced the need for grid electricity and the consumption of diesel when back‐up energy production is required. This innovative use of solar engineering was only the sixth system of its kind to be built in the world at the time of launch.
4. Kenyatta University
Kenyatta University also launched a Center of Excellence focused on the generation of solar energy. The Sh59 million centre, which is supported by the French government was launched at the university as Nairobi hosted the third United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA).
This also saw the construction of a 100kWp pilot Sh1.7 billion solar PV plant through the technical help of Urbasolar, a French engineering consultant, being unveiled at the university.
5. Strathmore University
Strathmore University in Madaraka, Nairobi has also installed one of the largest rooftop PV solar power plants in the region producing over 600 kilowatts which consists of 2,400 solar panels and 30 inverters. The new project will now save the university close to Sh1.8 million every month in terms of electricity bills.
6. Africa Logistics Properties (ALP)
Solarcentury East Africa installed a 506 kWp hybrid solar PV plant at Africa Logistics Properties (ALP), one of the first developments in Tatu City, Nairobi. The solar system on ALP’s three warehouses generates 800,000 kWh annually.
The hybrid system consists of 1,840 solar PV panels and ten solar PV inverters.
Kapa Oil also plans to install a 1.5 megawatts (MW) PV grid-tied system for internal use, the Moi International Airport in Mombasa is also set to install a 500 KW solar PV system that is expected to generate 820,000 kWh per year.
The move by companies to shift to solar has rattled Kenya Power which is losing heavy-consuming industrialists who are now seeking reliable and cheaper supply.
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