12 August, 2021 News

ARE Member OFGEN commissioned 1.1 MW captive solar PV system at the GSK headquarters in Nairobi

5 August 2021 – Britain's healthcare company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has installed an Sh108 million solar plant at its Nairobi factory. The drugmaker joins the bandwagon of cost savings-chasing heavy consuming power users in the country who have turned to cheaper and reliable alternative energy sources. GSK Site Director Paul Arunga said in a statement that the solar switch will reduce the drug maker's energy costs by 50 per cent, resulting in savings of Sh2 million every month. GSK contracted ARE Member OFGEN, a Nairobi based commercial and industrial power developer, to install 1.05MWp captive solar on the roofs and car park of its Nairobi plant.

OFGEN Chief Executive Officer, Mohamed Jibril Omar said: "Kenya has committed to lowering her greenhouse gas emissions by 32 per cent by 2030. We are happy that as a company, we are on the right track by offering clean energy solutions to industries, companies and even households," in a statement.

OFGEN has installed similar solar units for cigarette maker British American Tobacco (BAT Kenya), automaker Toyota Kenya, hospitality group Serena Hotels and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) among others. Over the next 3 years, OFGEN is targeting to provide over 50 MWp of affordable, reliable, and clean power generated on-site to its customers, leading to enhanced productivity and competitiveness of Kenyan industries.

Households and heavy-consuming industrialists in Kenya have over the past five years turned to solar, seeking reliable and cheaper clean power supply. Big power consumers such as Africa Logistics Properties (ALP), Mombasa International Airport, the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (Icipe) have recently commissioned solar power units on their properties. In a bid to stay relevant and protect its long-term revenues increasingly threatened by a fast uptake of solar panels installations by its main customers, Kenya Power announced in February it will also join the solar business. The utility firm – eager to cash in rather than lose out on the millions of solar kits being mounted on the roofs of commercial and industrial facilities and business premises around the country – said it plans to install panels in private houses and office blocks with the promise of cheap uninterrupted electricity.