Nakuru flower farm taps solar to cut costs
From：Taiwan Trade Center, Nairobi
Nakuru-based rose flower producer Xflora Group has joined a growing list of flower farms in Kenya turning to solar power to cut energy costs amid an uncertain market that has been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Xflora’s four flower farms in Nakuru have plugged into a 424 kilowatt peak (KWp) solar station, which the firm says will return a 30 per cent saving in power costs.
The company said its power expenses previously averaged Sh4.25 million per month, the cost of which is expected to drop significantly with the solar switch.
Built and operated by Nairobi-based renewable energy firm CrossBoundary Energy, the roof and ground-mounted solar installations will feed the rose farm sprawled over 120 hectares.
“Besides the cost aspect, buyers are increasingly becoming environmentally-sensitive and expect brands to be more responsible. Solar, being a clean and affordable renewable energy source, fits well within our sustainability agenda,” said the company chief financial officer Raghav Rai in a statement.
The cut flower producer said it has a power purchase contract with energy firm CrossBoundary for discounted solar power supply, which it said is "a fraction of the prevailing national grid rates".
CrossBoundary’s model involves financing, building and operating solar plants at customer premises to whom the generated electricity is sold at discount tariffs.
CrossBoundary Energy in partnership with South African firm SolarAfrica is also behind the solar installation on Nairobi’s Garden City Mall solar car park.