Ali Pirbhai, Director of the local EPC Technolectric, explaining details of the PV plant Enlarge

Ali Pirbhai, Director of the local EPC Technolectric, explaining details of the PV plant

© GIZ - James Ochweri

In Kenya's commercial and industrial sector, most companies are still supplied with energy from the national grid. However, given the favorable climatic conditions in the region, solar energy offers an attractive alternative for these companies.

A 150 kWp solar power system has been installed at the Simbi Roses farm. The system provides the flower farm with clean energy during the day, saving up to 144 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. Self-consumption solar systems are well suited to cover the daytime energy needs of flower farms. As the flower industry relies on the natural environment, forward thinking companies such as Simbi Roses are needed to set the trend towards sustainable energy use, which is a vital pillar of environmental protection.

The ground-mounted solar PV system, that has been installed at Simbi Roses farm in Thika, Kenya, consists of rows of solar panels converting energy from the sun into electricity, inverters changing this electricity from a DC current to AC current, and a monitoring system tracking the output of the system. The power produced is supplied to the farm’s electrical system.

The farm is still connected to the national grid. However the energy produced by the solar systems is solely for self-consumption and is not fed back into the grid. During the night or on cloudy days, when not enough energy is produced by solar power, electricity comes from the national grid. By switching between grid-provided and solar power, Simbi can lower its electricity costs and carbon footprint with solar energy.

Impressions and statements of the project partners

Impressions of the solar-as-a-service flagship project on Simbi Roses flower farm in Kenya

German Contribution

The German company ecoligo operates a leasing model, in which the customer only pays a fixed monthly fee for the use of the solar system. They receive hassle-free electricity and do not need to employ or train staff to manage the system. This project was constructed and is maintained by the local EPC company Technolectric. Through the leasing agreement, Simbi Roses can focus on its core business, while enjoying the benefits of a solar PV system.

The project was coordinated and implemented by ecoligo, which is also the project owner and operator, in cooperation with its partners. As the engineering and turnkey construction company, Technolectric was responsible for the installation and takes care of the ongoing operation and maintenance of the systems.

Rasmus Hansen, Regional Director, Kenya at ecoligo GmbH, at the inauguration ceremony

Rasmus Hansen, Regional Director, Kenya at ecoligo GmbH, at the inauguration ceremony

© GIZ - James Ochweri

Support of the German Energy Solutions Initiative

The Project Development Programme (PDP) of the German Energy Solutions Initiative contributed to awareness for solar and existing business models for financing solar PV in the flower farms sector through flower farm sector-studies, cooperation with Kenya Flower Council and flower workshops that included a site visit to Simbi Roses. The sector has among the highest interest for solar installations in Kenya at present.

In addition, the PDP played a role in matching suitable partners for the project. The early stage project development carried out at Simbi Roses through assessment of energy needs including load measurements gave an initial indication that a solar PV energy generation profile perfectly suits the energy consumption at Simbi Roses. These activities laid the groundwork for successful project implementation.

The project was financed on the crowdinvesting platform Private investors can contribute to renewable energy projects from 100 EUR and earn fixed interest rates while lowering CO2 emissions and supporting businesses around the world.

System Data:
Capacity:150 kWp
Yield:up to 238 MWh/a
saved CO2 emissionsup to 144 Tonnen/a
in operation since:October 2019
Number of solar panels454
Number of inverters5
Location:Thika, Kenya
Client:Simbi Roses
German business partner:ecoligo GmbH