Kenya’s largest dairy producer wants to buy solar

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New Kenya Cooperative Creameries finalized the preliminary phase of a tender this week to purchase electricity from a solar facility that will be built at its new KCC Sotik Factory.

Kenya’s largest dairy producer will buy power from a project featuring both ground-mounted and rooftop PV arrays. The selected developer will finance, own and operate the plant and will sell all of its output to New Kenya Cooperative Creameries under a power purchase agreement.

“The financial proposal will be quoted in payments per kWh as well as any other cost,” the company said.  “Average consumption from the grid was 1,428,016 kWh in 2017 and 945,206 kWh in 2018.”

The company currently covers around 69% of its energy needs with electricity from utility Kenya Power and Lighting Co. (KPLC). It generates the remaining percentage internally with a 500 KVA standby generator.

New Kenya Cooperative Creameries operates 22 milk-cooling plants and processing factories. It has a daily milk intake of around 350,000 kilograms. It collects milk from five main collection areas.

In September 2017, Kenya’s Energy Regulatory Commission launched an initiative to assess the status of solar in Kenya. It said at the time that it aims to expand the nation’s installed solar generation capacity, while identifying factors that stand in the way of deployment. It also recommended measures to enhance the use of PV, as the government has been criticized for failing to prioritize solar.

By the end of 2019, Kenya’s total installed solar capacity stood at 95 MW, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Only 2 MW of PV was newly deployed last year.