Unilever Tea company is set to install a 600kW solar power plant in its tea plantation in Kericho, Kenya. The company has signed an agreement with Cross-Boundary Energy for the installation and operation of the plant.
The plant is will start producing power in mid-2018. Unilever will pay monthly power bills generated by Cross Boundary Energy who will finance and operate the plant for 15 years.
The solar plant is the first commercial and industrial power purchase agreement for the company in Africa. It is going to deliver substantial savings on power costs as well as reduce its carbon emissions by over 10,000 tonnes over the plant’s 30-year lifetime.
According to the Managing Director Nicholaos Yiannakis, this deal will help the company achieve Unilever’s sustainable living plan that aims to source 100% of total energy from renewable by 2030.
The tea company says that over 90% of the energy used in the factory already comes from renewable sources.
Hydroelectric power turbines provide around 70% of electricity and have also been in use for nearly 100 years at the Kericho plantation.
Domestic off-grid systems
In 2016, Kenya recorded the highest volume of sales in domestic off-grid systems in Africa, and globally, was second only to India.
Furthermore, Cross Boundary Energy has commissioned Solar century East Africa to design, procure, construct and commission the plant and partnered with SolarAfrica to act as a technical partner to manage project delivery and asset management.