NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 17 – Premier Solar Solutions is in process of executing 1.8 Megawatts (MW) of captive solar projects in the next two to five months, adding to the 20MW already in the pipeline.
The Nairobi-based solar power solutions provider says the three solar projects comes at a time when there is a significant surge in the use of captive Solar PV technology to power the Commercial and Industrial sectors.
Chief Executive Rupesh Hindocha says the capacity additions are driven by rapid technological advances such as: Increase in efficiency, New manufacturing techniques, Use of new materials, Declining production costs, and shift of manufacturing bases to low-cost regions in Asia.
Globally, solar energy is becoming the fastest-growing power generation technology with installed capacity of solar PV growing at the average annual rate of over 50 percent.
Hindocha says that by end of 2019 the captive solar installations in Kenya is estimated to get 30-50 MW with annual growth rates of at least 15 – 20 percent as solar PV becomes more established in the market.
“As power costs for Kenya’s manufacturing industry continue to increase, alternative power solutions must be sought if Kenya is going to be competitive and achieve the third pillar, of the Jubilee Government’s Big 4 Agenda of getting manufacturing up from 9 percent to 15 percent of GDP by 2022,” Hindocha added.
Three key aspects that Premier Solar identified that the Kenya market lacked is access to finance, experienced EPC/solar engineers/technicians and competitive pricing.
Rajat Surey, Head of Technical and Projects at Premier Solar states that they have been able to provide solutions to those three aspects among others.
“Kenya is today, where India was 3 years ago, and therefore the opportunities for scale and growth especially in the manufacturing and agricultural sectors in Kenya are immense,” stated Surey.
Local universities such as Strathmore University’s Center for Energy Research provide solar technical training to meet ERC requirements, ensuring the sustainable supply of well-trained solar technicians.
And as more projects are executed the local developers and vendors will be more established, reducing the need to import various components which could be procured locally.
“Additionally, on the policy aspect, net metering which is part of the Energy Bill 2017, currently in the draft stage with Parliament, will make captive solar even more feasible. Storage solutions are still not commercially viable for large installations, however for smaller residential and off-grid clients, battery solutions are very viable and competitive compared to expensive diesel generators,” added Lemayian Kimojino, VP, Business Development at Premier Solar.