Solarcentury and the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (Icipe) have signed a Sh252 million ($2.5 million) deal for installation of solar PV plants at the research institute.
This is the largest solar investment in Kenya by the UK-headquartered firm, marking a growing appetite for cheap energy and alternative sources of electricity outside the mains grid.
Solarcentury will design the solar system with a combined capacity of 1.1 megawatts, with the responsibility for operation and maintenance for five years.
The panels are expected to start generating solar electricity by October.
Icipe is hoping to cut its expenditure on diesel through use of solar energy at its Nairobi and Kisumu campuses.
“Through this project, Icipe’s goal is to create sustainable energy supply and to reduce diesel fuel dependency by constructing solar photovoltaic power plants at its headquarters in Kasarani and at the Icipe campus on the shores of Lake Victoria,” said Icipe director general Segenet Kelemu.
The researcher joins a growing list of institutions, farms and malls that are turning to solar systems for their energy needs.
The project is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, which has financed Icipe’s greening project that also includes water conservation measures.