Kenchic joins firms choosing solar to cut expensive power bills


Kenchic Managing Director Jim Tozer. FILE PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG

Poultry company Kenchic has joined the growing list of firms in Kenya turning to solar energy to slash expensive power bills. The company says it has pumped $1 million (Sh160.5 million) into solar panels purchase that it says will reduce its power costs by up to 33 percent, as firms chop reliance on costly and unreliable supply from Kenya Power.

During the official handover ceremony of the panels from energy solutions provider Chloride Exide at Kenchic’s meat processing plant in Thika, the latter’s managing director Jim Tozer stated that the switch would translate to annual savings of up to Sh25 million for the firm, meaning that the investment would be recouped in just four years.

Mr Tozer further revealed that the investment was partly financed by a grant from the Japanese Government, which covered 25 percent of the total cost or $250,000 (Sh40.6 million).

“A major reason why this is significant to us is that we have electrical consumption both in our hatchery and in our processing plant during the day and at night,” stated Tozer.

“In terms of cost-cutting, this will help us reduce our power expenses at the processing plant by Sh18 million and at the hatchery by Sh14 million, translating to an annual saving of Sh32 million in power bills, which is a 33 percent drop.”

The firm says the installation at the processing plant is equipped with a production capacity of 843 Kilowatts, while the one at the hatchery will produce 481 Kilowatts making a combined capacity of 1.32 Megawatts (MW).

The installation at the hatchery is set to free the firm from interruption headaches given that the delicate operations at the incubators demand steady supply of power.

Kenya Power has recently been featured in news headlines for overseeing frequent power outages that have exposed many businesses as well as households to financial losses, with outages averaging 8.5 hours in a month as of December 2022.

The unreliability has increasingly seen consumers turn to alternative energy sources using varied technologies such as solar, bioenergy, wind and geothermal.

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