Solarcentury Completes 1MW of PV Project, the Largest One in East Africa

published: 2014-05-26 13:20 | editor: | category: News

With help from Solarcentury, Williamson Tea, a tea farmer in Kenya, has established East Africa’s largest solar project at its Changoi Tea Farm in Bomet County, Western Kenya. The 1MW PV project will help cut about 30% of energy costs and supply clean energy during the daytime to meet most of the tea processing factory’s energy demand.

Williamson Tea has over 140 years’ experience in the art of growing, selecting and blending fine teas. When the national grid is working, Williamson Tea’s solar farm, which was developed by local solar companies East African Solar and Azimuth Power, will work in parallel with the grid and reduce the amount of grid electricity imported. When the grid is down, the solar power system will work together with the standby diesel generators, significantly reducing the amount of diesel consumed. It system will also reduce the need for grid electricity and the consumption of diesel when back‐up energy production is required. This innovative use of solar engineering is only the sixth system of its kind to be built in the world.

Williamson Tea''s Changoi Tea Farm installed with solar panels. (Photo Credit: Williamson Tea)

Commenting on Williamson Tea’s solar farm, Dr Dan Davies, Director for Solarcentury locally in East Africa said, “We applaud Williamson Tea for investing in solar to support the company’s sustainable business growth. In a country blessed with plentiful irradiance and land space, solar is a perfect solution and reduces dependence on fossil fuels while improving energy security.”

Solarcentury is the designer, supplier and installer of the unique PV system, and is also responsible for the operation and maintenance. As a British company and expanding internationally, Solarcentury is committed to bringing the many benefits of solar to Kenya.

Frans van den Heuvel, Solarcentury CEO, said, “Williamson Tea’s solar farm in Changoi is a shining example of the opportunity for solar in Africa, and indeed the emerging markets, to help meet the increasing energy demands of growing economies. Sustainable energy sources are becoming more critical especially as the cost of fossil fuel energy continues to rise globally. Solarcentury is now focusing on delivering solar internationally and is pleased to be working with forward‐thinking companies like Williamson Tea.”

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