On-roof solar power photovoltaic system installed in Kenya

German company, Energiebau Solarstromsysteme GmbH ‒ a leading international provider and project developer of grid-connected and off-grid solar-power systems since 1994 ‒ has installed the largest on-roof solar-power system in Africa for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The 515 kWp solar-power system on the roof of the UNEP headquarters here was connected to the grid earlier this week during the UN Global Ministerial Environment Forum. With this project, Energiebau has created the first climate-neutral office building in Africa.

Working with a team of Germans and Africans, Energiebau planned and installed the 515 kWp solar-power system for UNEP’s new office building, in close co-operation with and incorporating
German solar technology from SCHOTT Solar and SMA Solar Technology AG, as well as modules from the Japanese firm Kaneka.

Following a three-month installation phase, the system, consisting of 4 000 modules, was ready to go live. In this sunny location, it will produce 750 000 kilowatt hours of clean solar energy each year, providing more electric energy than will likely be consumed by the building with its 1 200 employees. This achievement points the way towards a green future for the continent through de-central production of renewable energy directly at the place of consumption.

“Photovoltaics is developing into an important factor for the climate-neutral architecture of the future,” Energiebau managing director Michael Schafer explained. The importance of the developing east African market is reflected by the level of commitment to this flagship project, highlighting solar energy’s potential and performance capacity in Africa,” he added.

“Local installers are being trained by Energiebau as part of its development partnership with the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ),” explains Hendrik Linneweber, GIZ Kenya country director. In the future, Kenyan installers will be trained in their own solar academy in cooperation with local training institutions and the companies SCHOTT Solar and SMA.