Solarcentury to build Africa’s largest solar carport

UK solar company Solarcentury has been commissioned to design and construct Africa's largest solar carport on the uppermost storey of a car park at Garden City Mall, Nairobi.

The clean solar electricity generated by the 858kWp system will be used by the retail tenants to help to reduce their energy bills as well as minimising the impact of the mall on the environment.

The solar installation will be financed under New Vision Investments (NVI) Energy’s Solar4Africa, a 12-year financed solution that enables Garden City to harness the power of renewable energy, overcoming many of the barriers that can frequently beset commercial solar projects.

As well as providing shade, the 3,300 solar panels on the carports will generate 1256MWh per year, and cut carbon emissions by around 745 tonnes per year.

The dual-mode technology provides solar energy in the daytime which means less is used from the grid; and when the grid is down, the system also reduces the consumption of costly diesel back up.

Environmentally friendly

Essentially, the system is able to operate in either mode. This dual-mode system ensures a consistent energy supply whilst reducing diesel and grid consumption, so as well as being a more environmentally friendly energy solution it helps reduce energy bills for Garden City’s retail tenants.

Director for Solarcentury in East Africa Dr Dan Davies said: “We are incredibly proud to be bringing our second dual-mode solar system to Kenya, this time to build East Africa’s largest rooftop system.

“The unique dual-mode technology system we have developed is perfect for urban areas where land is at a premium yet energy needs to be supplied near to demand. Installing the panels on the roof of a car park makes use of otherwise functionless roof space. The technology is also being used in East Africa’s largest ground mount system for Williamson Tea in Kenya, reducing the company’s energy bills by around a third. “

Lois Vallely

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