Solarcentury to build Africa's largest solar carport


U.K. solar developer Solarcentury will construct the largest solar carport in Africa having secured the contract to build an 858 kW system at Nairobi’s Garden City Mall in the Kenyan capital.

The project is to be financed under NVI Energy’s Solar4Africa program, forming part of a 12-year financed solution designed to enable Garden City Mall to harness the power of clean energy.

The solar system will become Africa’s largest carport array once complete, and marks Solarcentury’s second venture into Africa using the company’s dual-mode technology, which has been designed to provide solar energy in the daytime while reducing consumption of the costly diesel backup.

The array will comprise 3,300 solar panels generating 1,256 MWh of solar electricity per year, cutting some 745 tonnes of carbon emissions in the process.

"We are proud to be bringing our second dual-mode solar system to Kenya, this time to build East Africa’s largest rooftop PV system," said Solarcentury’s East Africa director, Dan Davies. "The unique dual-mode technology system we have developed is perfect for urban areas where land is at a premium yet energy needs to be supplied near to demand."

The rooftop system not only provides shade but also utilizes space that would otherwise remain functionless. The technology employed has previously been installed by Solarcentury at East Africa’s largest ground mount system for Williamson Tea in Kenya, and can essentially be operated in either mode, reducing both diesel and grid consumption, and cutting bills by as much as a third.

The array will help Garden City – an integrated residential, retail park, hotel and office development close to Nairobi’s Thika Superhighway – achieve the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.