Solar energy use in flower farms has gained pace in efforts to cut power costs and be cushioned from unreliable electricity distribution.
Nanyuki’s 64-hectare Tambuzi flower farm in Laikipia County has joined a growing list of large farms that have tapped into the cheaper and green solar energy.
The farm installed a 60-kilowatt solar power system in a bid to trim operation cost and reduce carbon emission whenever power supply is interfered with and have to turn to standby diesel-run generators.
In a statement, the managing director Tim Hobbs said that the solar kit would save the farm up to 10,000 kilowatts per month in energy bills.
“Our processes involve a lot of water pumping for irrigation and refrigeration of ready products awaiting shipping. These operations require 24-hour supply of power from the national grid,” he said on Tuesday.
Mr Hobbs added: “This is a direct solar feed and there are no batteries involved and this reduced our installation costs.”
Demand for solar kits has in recent days grown with business establishments and large households rushing to comply with Energy (Solar Water Heating) Regulations 2012.
The regulations demand that units whose hot water needs exceed 100 litres per day be retrofitted with solar heaters by 2017 to cut electricity costs.
Solar kits have also become popular with small households, especially those in rural areas, for lighting.
Another farm in Nairobi’s Ruiru – Red Lands Roses – last year installed 30 kilowatts solar system along with Uhuru Flowers (72 kilowatts).