Flower company to generate own solar power

Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui (C) joins investors in touring the new 1mw solar plant in Oserian Flower farm in Naivasha. The plant will see the cost of power in the Naivasha based farm drop by 18 percent with plans on to add another 10mw of solar in the coming months. [Photo: Standard]

Flower exporting company, Oserian Development Company on Thursday launched its solar energy power plant with a capacity to generate 1 megawatt (MW).

Integrated with the existing geothermal power, the firm will now produce sufficient renewable energy for consumption by tenants and residents of the Two Lakes Industrial Park. Combined, both plants have a capacity of 3.5MW.

Speaking during the launch in Naivasha, Managing Director Neil Heilings said renewable energy was the way to go to reduce the cost of power, a big hurdle to Kenya’s development.

“The initiative supports Kenya’s Big Four Agenda of providing cheaper renewable energy for industrial take-off,” he said.

Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui said his government will support the private sector to steer development in the region, expressing pride that the county was home to the largest geothermal plant in Africa, and fourth in the world.

The power plant has been developed in partnership with Premier Solar, Solarise, Oloidien Engineering & Estate, and Dubai Carbon.

Oserian developed the 2.5MW geothermal plant in 2003 and now has switched on solar power, making it among the first flower farms in the world to operate on the two green energy sources and relying 100 per cent on own generated energy for business and residential use.

The solar plant comes a month after the firm was named the 2019 Renewable Energy Champion in the Kenya Association of Manufacturers Energy awards in March.

With the solar plant, Oserian has moved closer to its 2020 Vision of being a carbon-free environment.

The firm introduced geothermal powered tugs (trucks) two years ago that transport flowers from greenhouses to the pack house, a development that has saved about 300,000 litres of diesel and led to a cleaner environment.