rooftop solar
In Kenya, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) has given a $2.5 million grant for a rooftop solar PV plant at a Nairobi scientific research institute.

The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (Icipe) will use the funding to develop a solar power plant at its Duduville Campus headquarters in Kasarani, Nairobi.

[quote]Director general of Icipe Dr Segenet Kelemu commented: “Our goal is to reduce diesel fuel dependency by constructing solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants at Duduville Campus headquarters in Kasarani, Nairobi, and at the Icipe Thomas Odhiambo Campus on the shores of Lake Victoria.”

Commenting on the partnership, SDC’s senior thematic advisor for rural development Yves Guinand said: “The SDC has been a long term partner of Icipe, helping to achieve significant progress in improving the livelihoods of communities across Africa.”

According to a local radio station, Capital FM, Kenya’s Solarcentury will be tasked with the design and construction of the solar PV plants, and the project is expected to be ready for commissioning later this year.

Icipe installs the largest solar power plant

A total of 4130 PV modules will be installed on rooftops on both Icipe campuses, creating the largest rooftop solar PV plant in Kenya, local media reports claim.

Additionally, the solar PV plants are anticipated to have a combined generating capacity of 1154 kWp, equivalent to the power required to light 750 households.

For maximum exploitation of the project, the media reported that an ‘intelligent system’, which will enable energy interchange between the solar systems and the national electricity grid, will be installed, with the grip serving as virtual battery storage.

Solarcentury’s director Guy Lawrence said they are pleased to be partnering with Icipe as they share a common mission of alleviating climate change impacts.

“We are always keen to partner with institutions that want to improve the sustainability of their operations. We are excited at this opportunity, which enables us to collaborate with Icipe, whose mission of safeguarding the environment aligns with our own mission of alleviating the impacts of climate change, and to enhance our growing portfolio of solar systems installations in Kenya,” he said.

Swiss Ambassador to Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, Dr Ralf Heckner, highlighted: “Globally, incorporating ‘greening’ measures into operations is becoming more and more critical, especially as an enabling act of sustainable development. The Greening of Icipe Initiative is therefore commendable and it will hopefully serve as a worthwhile example for other institutions.”