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Flower farms bet on solar to cut power costs

BUSINESS
By Antony Gitonga | July 5th 2021

The floating solar system that has been put op on a reservoir in Rift Valley Roses in Naivasha making it the first of its kind in the country.[Antony Gitonga,Standard]

The number of flower farms opting for solar power is on the rise with the investors crying foul over the sharp rise in the cost of electricity in the country.

Farmers have identified the high electricity charges and frequent outages as the major challenges facing the sector, which is yet to fully recover from the effects of Covid-19.

This came as Naivasha-based Rift Valley Roses and Ecoligo Solar Company launched the floating solar project in the country. The solar system has been installed on one of the reservoirs in the farm and can produce 69 kilowatts of power - providing the flower farm with clean energy.

Farm owner Stuart Millar said the high cost of electricity coupled with power outages was affecting flower production in the country.

“We now have a major solar system located on top of a reservoir and this power is clean and reliable,” he said during the launch.

Stuart said in 20 years, the flower farm would save over Sh35 million. “With the use of this system, we shall not have any challenges in power fluctuation. We can use the generated air to aerate our greenhouse for quality roses,” he said.

Ayub Njoroge from Ecoligo Solar said the floating solar system will reduce the rate of evaporation in the farm's dam.

German Deputy Ambassador Thomas Wimmer lauded the project noting it would produce clean energy. [Antony Gitonga]

 

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