Kenya: 75 kWp solar system to power Rift Valley Roses

The inauguration of a 75 kWp solar system to power Rift Valley Roses flower farm in Naivasha took place on Thursday. The solar project will save up to 68 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year and lower the business’ energy bills. Self-consumption solar systems are well suited to cover the daytime energy needs of flower farms and are becoming increasingly popular in the industry. The project was implemented by ecoligo, a German-based solar company with a subsidiary in Kenya.

The inauguration took place at the 24-hectare farm in northern Naivasha, where guests were able to take a tour of the system and the surrounding greenhouses. Over 40 people attended the event, including key players in Kenya’s thriving floriculture industry as well as energy experts active in the region. Speakers included ecoligo CEO Martin Baart, Stuart Millar, Director of Rift Valley Roses, Valerie Leisten, Project Manager at Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Kenya (AHK) and Mark Muinde, Managing Director at Harmonic Systems, ecoligo’s installation and service partner for the system.

Increasing energy prices pose a central challenge for many businesses in Kenya. Affordable solar energy is a viable alternative, however solar systems typically require high upfront payments and suitable financing options aren’t available. ecoligo provides a fully financed solar-as-a-service solution, managing the systems in cooperation with local partners to ensure fast response to maintenance requirements and provide a hassle-free, affordable and clean source of energy.

ecoligo’s solar projects are financed on the crowdinvesting platform, where Rift Valley Roses is one of five flower farms in the Naivasha and Thika areas to benefit from solar systems funded by private investors. For Rift Valley Roses Owner Stuart Millar, the progressive nature of the project is in line with the farm’s core values. He said:

“Our company’s journey is termed Tukuza through which we have created a working environment where communication is the fundamental basis. Tukuza signifies a Kiswahili phrase and translates to we can always make it better. We believe that using solar power is one way of making it better and it’s our part in sustaining the Kenyan environment.”

Martin Baart, CEO of ecoligo, said: “When my co-founder Markus and I were working in Kenya in 2013, we learned about the large role of flower farms in Kenya's economy. We were enthusiastic about the Kenyan solar market as much as we were about flower farms being the ideal clients: reputable, successful businesses that have a positive impact on the local economy and communities but are in need of solutions to reduce their high energy costs.”

This project is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) supports this initiative on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag.

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