|Kenyan mall switches on largest solar carport system in Africa
While South Africa may be leading the continent’s solar power charge, Kenya has taken a massive step towards a greener future by switching on Africa’s largest solar carport system. This commercial solar project aims to cut carbon emissions by around 745 tonnes a year, approximately 18 625 tonnes over its entire lifespan.
The 858 kWp solar carport system is made up of 3 300 solar panels and will generate 1 256 MWh a year. Besides providing shade, electricity generated by this system will be used by the retail tenants to power mall facilities such as lights and escalators.
The highly innovative carport has been designed using a solar hybrid system. This means that during the daylight hours the system generates solar electricity, allowing it to use much less energy from the grid. The hybrid technology enables the carport to run in tandem with a diesel generator. When the sun hides its face, the mall can easily switch over to grid energy, or the backup generator, should the grid go down.
This project once again shows the huge potential that the private sector has in allowing commercial and industrial clean energy solutions to become financially viable. While the solar component of the greater Garden City Mall development was always recognised, the upfront costs were prohibitive. Thanks to solar financing by SolarAfrica, Garden City did not need to pay all of the upfront costs of the system, allowing the project to take shape much faster than initially imagined.
This process forms one of the main visions of Soventix, providing large scale PV integration across South Africa, and the world, via Power Purchase Agreements (PPA). Through solar financing solutions, as well as the entire engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) process, we strive towards making solar power installation financially viable to every business, no matter the size.
A rapidly increasing number of businesses and homeowners across Africa are looking to invest in solar power thanks to the multiple benefits it affords. In a land of poor infrastructure and an ageing fleet of power stations, long-term energy reliability and electricity savings play a vital role in securing the future of your home, business and planet.
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