UK firm brings Africa’s largest solar carport to Kenya

Garden City – Africa's largest solar car port system.
Garden City – Africa’s largest solar car port system. PHOTO/FILE
Solarcentury, a London-based solar firm, has secured a contract to install Africa’s largest solar carport on the topmost floor of a car park at the upcoming Garden City mall in Nairobi.

The 858kWp solar carport, which will constitute 3,300 solar panels, will generate 1,256MWh a year – providing clean power to the retail tenants of the 32-acre mixed use development on Nairobi’s Thika Road and shade for shoppers’ cars.

A carport is a roofed, wall-less shed used to offer limited protection to cars from the sun’s ultraviolet rays and other elements. Solar carport are increasingly gaining popularity worldwide as they make use of otherwise functionless rooftops.

Solarcentury said on Thurday the innovative system would operate in a “dual mode”, allowing it to provide backup power when the grid is down and a steady supply of power during the day to reduce demand from the grid when it is operational.

“We are incredibly proud to be bringing our second dual-mode solar system to Kenya, this time to build East Africa’s largest rooftop system,” Dr Dan Davies, Director for Solarcentury in East Africa said in a statement.

READ: First phase of Garden City nears completion

The project, whose value is yet to be disclosed, will be financed under Solar4Africa, a 12 year financed plan that seeks to enable Garden City to overcome barriers that frequently affect commercial solar projects, he said.

The deal comes shortly after Solarcentury announced it had delivered a 1MW solar farm – East Africa’s largest ground mount system – for Williamson Tea’s facilities in western Kenya.