NAIVASHA, Kenya, May 10 – Flower grower and exporter Oserian Development company is steadily walking towards achieving the goal to create a carbon-free environment after completing the construction of its solar plant worth Sh101.1 million.
The firm which uses geothermal steam to power business, will have the 1-megawatt solar plant supply enough power for all its operations and sell to the national grid.
Speaking during the launch of the solar plant, Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui lauded the organization’s achievement and called on the private sector to consider investing more on the solar system.
“We are already in talks with the government planning how we can fully provide cheap and efficient power to Kenyans. We are also encouraging the private sector to partner international organizations with the technical know-how when it comes to producing solar,” he said.
The plant was constructed under the supervision and guidance of two companies that included Premier solutions and Oloidel Engineering.
Co-founder and Director Patrik Huber Solarise Africa said one of the reasons why they chose to invest in the project is due to the country’s potential to have solar for industrial operations and that it is known to many industries.
“We have financed three projects here already with a total of 2 megawatts and we plan to deepen our engagement in the country in the coming years,” he said.
According to the solar plant manager, Fredrick Apollo said the initiative will help the organization fully go green and the life expectancy of the panels is 25 years and will still continue generating electricity thereafter.
“This is a good initiative and cost of maintenance is cheap. Buying per kilo from the national grid is expensive as it costs 17 or 18 shillngs per kilowatt. This will also create jobs in the region,” he said.
The completion of the project comes a year later after the company was awarded a license to supply enough power for all its operations and sell to the national grid.
The geothermal firm was last month crowned the winner in the Renewable Energy category in the Kenya Association of Manufacturers Energy Management Awards, 2019.
Kenya’s oldest flower farm was feted among some 20 other companies, recognized for exemplary measures in the efficient use and generation of energy.
In 2018, the firm introduced geothermal powered electric cars, known as tugs, currently used to transport flowers from the greenhouses to the pack house.
Through the use of geothermal energy as opposed to conventional electricity the company has made huge savings that enable Oserian to pay its employees markedly better than their competitors.