East Africa gets largest PV yet

The UK's Solarcentury has completed a 1MW PV project in Kenya – claimed to be the biggest yet seen in East Africa.

The project for Williamson Tea in Bomet County, Western Kenya, will help power the Changoi Tea Farm, cutting the cost of energy by around 30%.

When the national grid is operating, Williamson Tea’s PV array will work in parallel with the network and reduce the amount of electricity imported, Solarcentury said.

When the grid is down, the solar system will work together with standby diesel generators, significantly reducing the amount of diesel consumed, it added.

Solarcentury was selected as the lead designer, supplier and installer of the PV system, and will also be responsible for the operation and maintenance (O&M).

Local people were employed during the construction phase and will be involved in the ongoing O&M of the solar park.

Local solar companies East African Solar and Azimuth Power were the developers for Williamson Tea’s solar plant, with construction taking only three months.