The newly opened Garden City Mall projects that it will save about Sh31.6 million annually from power bills due to its new solar hybrid system launched on Tuesday.
The solar carport will generate 1,256 Megawatt hours annually from the 3,300 solar panels installed on the topmost car park shade.
The director of UK company Solarcentury which installed the panels, Guy Lawrence , said the system (a $1.9 million investment) will use the dual-mode technology to provide solar energy throughout the day.
In the event that no solar power is generated during the day due to weather conditions, power from the national grid is consumed, he said.
“If Garden City was paying for it, they would reduce power bills by 40 per cent, that is about $300,000 annually without using the national grid power. Since there is no power bank, the mall consumes 100 per cent power from the grid during the night and during the day in the event of no solar power generated. This means that less is used from the grid,” said Mr Lawrence.
He added that the dual-mode system, unveiled by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, Joseph Njoroge will ensure consistent energy supply is produced while reducing diesel and grid consumption.
Mr Lawrence added that the flagship project would “open the mindset” of Kenyans about solar as an alternative source of energy.
“When the grid is down, the system reduces the consumption of costly diesel backup generators. The main challenge we face is the mindset that solar can be the backbone of a progressing society in the wake of climate change. As Kenyans, it is not our time to eat, it is our time to make a change,” he said.
The chief executive officer and founder of Solar Africa, James Irons, said during the unveiling that the project is set to cut carbon emissions by around 745 tonnes annually.
“This project demonstrates both commerciality and sustainability towards a renewable energy revolution. We offered Garden City a finance solution that meant they do not need to pay all of the upfront costs to design, produce and install the system. The more solar the less carbon emission prints,” he said.