Tag Archive | "solar photovoltaic"

Williamson Tea solar installation is the East Africa’s largest PV plant


The Williamson Tea solar installation, located at its Changoi Tea Farm in Bomet County, Western Kenya, is claimed to be East Africa’s largest PV plant. The innovative solar system is designed to cut Williamson Tea’s energy costs by around 30%, supplying clean solar electricity during the daytime to meet most of the tea processing factory’s energy demand.

Williamson Tea’s system aims to reduce the need for grid electricity and the consumption of diesel when back-up energy production is required. When the national grid is working, Williamson Tea’s solar farm will work in parallel with the grid and reduce the amount of grid electricity imported. Conversely, when the grid is down, the solar power system will work together with the standby diesel generators, significantly reducing the amount of diesel consumed.

“Williamson Tea’s solar farm in Changoi is a shining example of the opportunity for solar in Africa, and indeed the emerging markets, to help meet the increasing energy demands of growing economies,” said Frans van den Heuvel, Solarcentury CEO. “Sustainable energy sources are becoming more critical, especially as the cost of fossil fuel energy continues to rise globally. By choosing solar, Williamson Tea is not only investing in the company’s sustainable future but also local people and the future of the tea farming industry in Kenya.”

Solarcentury, which served as the lead designer, supplier and installer of the unique PV system, is also responsible for the operation and maintenance. Local solar companies East African Solar and Azimuth Power were the developers for Williamson Tea’s solar farm.

Posted in Alternative Energy, Green Energy, Renewable Energy, Solar EnergyComments (0)

China targets 70 GW of solar by 2017


China has announced plans to step up its domestic solar power development, aiming for 70 GW of installed capacity by 2017.

According to a statement from the National Development and Reform Commission, China – currently the world’s largest carbon emitter – hopes to reduce its dependence on coal by more than tripling its current solar capacity (logged at 20 GW at the end of 2013) as well as installing 150 GW of wind power, 11 GW of biomass power and 330 GW of hydropower by 2017.

China’s 2017 targets also include an increase in nuclear power capacity to 50 GW and growth in natural gas supply capacity to 330 billion cubic metres.

Wang Xiaoting, an analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance, has called China’s trend toward alternative energy sources “stable” and said in a Bloomberg article that the nation’s newest solar target will be “easily attained if China keeps the current development pace”.

Meanwhile, Australia’s Anti-Dumping Commission is to open an investigation into whether Chinese companies have been ‘dumping’ solar panels and modules in the Australian market, while India has found evidence of dumping practices by both China and the US and will decide this month whether to impose duties on solar imports from the two nations.

China stepped up its plans for domestic solar power development after both the US and the EU initiated anti-dumping investigations against Chinese firms.

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Hybrid diesel-PV system saves big in Ecuador


A hybrid diesel-solar photovoltaic (PV) on-site power system has produced big savings for an Ecuadorean airport.

Power to the main airport on Baltra, one of the Galapagos islands, was previously supplied by two diesel generatorswhich produced 1200 GWh/year.

A solar power plant, added in October 2013, produces more than 141 GWh/year and has reduced the gensets’ fuel consumption as well as saving up to 12% on fuel costs, according to photovoltaic inverter manufacturer Ingeteam, whose inverters were recently installed in the solar plant’s power supply system.

In the hybrid system, Ingeteam said its diesel-PV controllers monitor power flows and manage the PV power injected into the diesel grid in order to guarantee system stability, achieving up to 70% of PV penetration compared to the total diesel capacity.

The 18 kWp system features 352 solar panels and three Ingecon Sun 25 U inverters. These inverters have been specifically designed to comply with US regulations, are suitable for outdoor installation and achieve a maximum efficiency of 96.1%, Ingeteam said.

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