Germany’s BayWa r.e.has completed its first pilot project in southern Africa with the commissioning of a combined photovoltaic plant and battery system in the Zambian province of Chisamba.
The plant will provide the farm with 450kWh of renewable energy for up to 13 hours per day for the irrigation of the agricultural land in the area. This equals the consumption of 150 litres of diesel fuel per day and the emission of 145 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Speaking about the project, Christof Thannbichler, Managing Director of BayWa r.e. Solar Projects GmbH, stated, “Based on our years of experience in project planning in the PV sector, we see great potential in the entire region for the implementation of further weak and off-grid projects. We are going to significantly expand our activity on the African continent and already have further projects in development.”
The pilot plant on the premises of the AKTC farm consists of 260 solar modules erected with a total capacity of 86 kWp.
Excess energy will be stored in a 160 kWh battery storage system. Tthe water reservoir also serves as additional storage. With the battery and water storage the AKTC farm is supplied with PV power continuously from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. During this time it operates independently of the public grid, reconnecting to the grid at night.
“With intelligently designed weak grid solutions like our PV battery storage system, we can supply operations with reliably and sustainably produced energy, independent of their connection to the public grid. This not only increases the productivity of processes but also contributes to a significant improvement in their ecological assessment,” explained Tobias Kriete, Regional Manager Africa at BayWa r.e. Solar Projects GmbH.
BayWar r.e. provided the planning, financing, installation and turn-key hand-over of the plant to Zambia. The company is also helping to train the farmers in order to allow them to take over routine servicing of the plant in the future.