Solarcentury completes East Africa’s largest solar project

1MWp solar PV project bringing clean green energy to Kenyan tea farm

Williamson Tea has unveiled East Africa’s largest solar project at its Changoi Tea Farm in Bomet County, Western Kenya. The solar system will cut Williamson Tea’s energy costs by around 30%, supplying clean solar electricity during the daytime to meet most of the tea processing factory’s energy demand. Williamson Tea’s system will 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 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 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.

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.”

Leading solar energy company Solarcentury was selected as the lead designer, supplier and installer of the unique PV system, and is also responsible for the operation and maintenance. A British company and expanding internationally, Solarcentury is committed to bringing the many benefits of solar to Kenya. Solarcentury’s 15 years’ experience and engineering excellence is being invested in Kenya through its Nairobi office, headed up by Dr Dan Davies, one of Solarcentury’s founders.

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. By choosing solar, Williamson Tea is not only investing in the company’s sustainable future but also local people and the future of the tea farming industry in Kenya.”

Local solar companies East African Solar and Azimuth Power were the developers for Williamson Tea’s solar farm.

ENDS

Press contact:
Sarah Allison, PR Manager, Solarcentury
Sarah.allison@solarcentury.com
+44 207 549 1148

About Solarcentury

Solarcentury is one of the most respected solar companies in the world. Founded in 1998, we have been around since the early days of the solar industry and have been part of the evolution that has made PV the attractive investment it is today. We have put solar on a greater variety of sites than any other company in the industry, and have won multiple awards for product innovation.
We work directly with our clients to design and install commercial, industrial and utility scale solar. We also supply our products and services to installers and distributors. All of our customers benefit from our experience in terms of engineering quality, superior yields and sheer breadth of deployment.

We are a big believer in helping solar PV change our world for the better and contribute 5% of our net profits every year to the charity we founded, SolarAid, which aims to eradicate kerosene lamps from Africa by 2020.
And our business is global and growing, with offices in the UK, Italy, The Netherlands, South Africa and Kenya as well as a growing presence in Latin America.

About Williamson Tea

Williamson Tea Kenya is a publicly listed Kenyan company with many years’ experience in the growing and manufacture of tea.

About East African Solar

East African Solar is a Kenyan owned company focused on private development and installation of utility scale Solar Power systems in East Africa.

Our Vision is to be at the front of landowners, businesses and investors’ minds when they consider solar power in East Africa. We are committed to proving that electricity from the sun makes sense through realistic and cost-effective solar PV solutions for businesses.

We promise:

  • professional and experienced advice through every step of the development process
  • Innovative technological solutions
  • Excellent installation and project delivery
  • Reliable on-going support and maintenance

East Africa Solar is set to have developed 2MW of Solar PV by the end of 2014 marking it as the leading Solar PV developer and Installer in East Africa.

People are out greatest asset and East African Solar has developed a graduate training program to develop skills and employment opportunities, in conjunction with our experienced International partners.

Notes to editors
In November 2020 Solarcentury joined forces with Statkraft – read the press release here solarcenturyafrica.com/statkraft-acquires-solarcentury

About Solarcentury: Established in 1998, Solarcentury is a leading global solar power company that develops, constructs, owns and operates utility-scale solar and smart technology. Solarcentury is known internationally for developing and building some of the largest utility-scale solar projects in the UK, the Netherlands, Spain, Kenya and Mexico, including pioneering projects such as the world’s first solar bridge at Blackfriars Station in Central London.
Solarcentury’s mission is to make a meaningful difference in the global fight against climate chaos by making solar power the dominant energy source worldwide. During Solarcentury’s 22-year history the business has helped solar power become mainstream, and our projects have generated 6 billion kWh of clean electricity, saving over 1.7 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.
About Statkraft: Statkraft is a leading company in hydropower internationally and Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy. The Group produces hydropower, wind power, solar power, gas-fired power and supplies district heating. Statkraft is a global company in energy market operations. Statkraft has 4,000 employees in 17 countries. www.statkraft.com

Solarcentury’s press office is available at PR@solarcentury.com.