A 427kw solar PV ground mounted solution for a rose farm in Nakuru. This was a tremendous achievement for us as a group because;
1) we were finally making a breakthrough in the horticulture industry- a space that is very difficult to get in to as it is a 24/7 process cycle with very high competition and tight delivery timelines.
2) the breakthrough was with one of the largest rose farm groups in Kenya wherein 300,000 stems are being exported to Holland on a daily basis, which meant no room for error in quality of flowers otherwise the losses can be huge.
3) there is no roof space to install panels as acres of land is used for green houses. This meant expanding in to ground mounted solutions too, a first for us which was successfully done, helping our customer save unto 25% in power costs
4) we were expanding beyond Nairobi, in to more remote areas of Kenya where the power supply is not great. This was both a learning and growing opportunity as we were now onboarding a workforce local to that area.
5) we were still within our first year of entering the solar business and we managed to on board such a unique client, with a unique solution. Today we have successfully onboarded several such clients within the same industry
The agriculture and horticulture industries are currently the two largest sectors contributing to the Kenyan economy, of which rose farms are one of the top 5 contributors. Such rose farms usually export their flowers to Holland where it then gets auctioned and distributed across the globe. The rose farm industry by nature is therefore a very fast paced, time bound industry to be in, with several competitors all striving for the highest bid in the auction. For this reason, it is prime to keep production costs as low as possible, without compromising quality of flowers.
On top of all this, this particular customer was located in a remote area (Njoro Town) with poor grid connectivity, and huge outputs. They were depending on gensets heavily to match their deliveries. We were brought in to help reduce their power costs through solar PV solutions. Not only did we guarantee them a 20% saving by shifting to solar, but we noticed additional saving opportunities (such as running the pumps during peak hours of the day, instead of the traditional night time usage) which has helped our customer save even more than expected.
Impact on the African Solar Industry.
Over 500,000 units of electricity is generated annually by this Solar power plant allowing the client to save more than 40% on their power cost (higher than any other industry simply due to the shift in running pumps from night time to peak hours of the day). This plant will reduce over 12,000tons of CO2 over its lifetime, thereby assisting Africa improve its overall carbon foot print.
Further, ever since installing this particular plant, we have manage to assist several players within this industry save costs. The end result of this is lower cost of production, allowing for greater savings and ultimately assist in growing this industry further in the long run. Being one of the largest contributors to the Kenyan economy, such growth will provide tremendous job opportunities, increased household incomes, and overall better the standards of life across the country.
This has also allowed us to tap in to the Ugandan sugar processing industry, which is the first step toward achieving our long term vision of assisting all our customers across Africa become least cost producers.