- Germany’s ecoligo has energized a 69 kW floating solar power plant, the 1st such project in Kenya through crowdfunding
- The project is located atop a water reservoir in Rift Valley Roses Flower Farm near Lake Naivasha
- It complements 75 kW rooftop solar system, also installed by ecoligo, operational at the farm since 2019
German solar utility and crowdfunding company ecoligo GmbH has announced the commissioning of Kenya’s ‘1st’ floating solar power plant with 69 kW capacity. It powers the Rift Valley Roses flower farm near Lake Naivasha.
The project was originally announced in June 2020 to come up on one of the water reservoirs, after a 75 kW rooftop solar installation was completed by the company for one of the farm buildings in 2019. Success of the rooftop solar plant encouraged the flower farm to expand PV capacity through floating solar.
Ecoligo said the floating solar project was installed by Technoelectric with solar panels from Luxor and PV inverters from Siemens subsidiary Kaco New Energy. All power generated by the system is only for self-consumption of the farm. Backed by German Energy Agency (dena) under its Renewable Energy Solutions Program, the project was crowdfunded through private investors with 125 Germans contributing through the company’s online platform.
It is estimated the floating solar system at Rift Valley Roses will generate 112.33 MWh annually.
Floating solar PV technology holds huge potential in Africa, and especially agri businesses like Rift Valley Roses farms where there is a reservoir to store and manage rainwater, according to ecoligo. But it points out the non-availability of finance as one of the impediments for its growth. It suggests crowdinvesting as a funding method to break through the impasse.
Talking about the benefits of crowdfunding or crowdinvesting to support the growth of floating PV, ecoligo said, “The funding method is fast and flexible, enabling private investors to contribute small sums to a larger project and earn interest on their investments. Speed enables quick realisation of projects that may otherwise face long wait times and stiff bureaucracy, while flexibility is important for technology like FPV that has more complexities than other types of solar energy.”
Several other countries in Africa are now warming up to floating solar PV technology. In December 2020, Ghana commissioned a 5 MW pilot floating PV project, as the country’s 1st hydro-solar hybrid power generating system (see 5 MW Floating Solar PV Capacity Commissioned In Ghana).