icipe Solar PV Plants officially commissioned
Nairobi, Kenya, 28 September 2018 – The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) has officially commissioned two solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants — at its Duduville Campus headquarters in Kasarani, Nairobi, and at the Thomas Odhiambo Campus on the shores of Lake Victoria. The USD2.5 million system is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
“This project is part of the Greening of icipe initiative, which, in addition to renewable energy, also includes energy saving and water harvesting, and conservation measures, with the aim of reducing the Centre’s carbon footprint and making its environment more eco-friendly,” noted icipe Director General and CEO, Dr Segenet Kelemu.
The solar PV plants, part of which have been operational since December 2016, have a combined generating capacity of 1156 kiloWatt peak (kWp). As a result, icipe now has a sustainable energy supply as well as reduced diesel fuel dependency. Importantly, as a result of this system, icipe will be able to offset an average of over 400 tonnes of carbon annually.
The plants consist of a total of 3984 PV modules installed on rooftops on both icipe campuses. Another 220 PV modules have been fixed on various facades, such as carports. In addition, a hybrid system consisting of battery banks capable of supplying up to five hours of uninterrupted power, has been installed at the icipe Thomas Odhiambo Campus in western Kenya.
The design and construction of the icipe solar PV plants was undertaken by Solarcentury East Africa.
“The official inauguration of the icipe solar PV plants is a great milestone for Solarcentury. Not only is the project our largest to date in Kenya, it is also our first large scale battery system in Africa. Overall, we are pleased to have supported the Greening of icipe initiative,” said Daniel Davies, General Manager Africa, Solarcentury.
“icipe is a longstanding partner of SDC, leading to significant progress in improving the livelihoods of communities across Africa. We are now extremely proud to support the Centre in its current mission of greening its operations,” commented Guinand Yves, Senior Thematic Advisor, Rural Development, SDC.
In addition to the solar PV plants, all the other components of the Greening of icipe initiative are on track. For example, approximately four acres of the Duduville Campus is now covered with over 30 different types of grasses, trees, plants and flowers, as a way of enhancing carbon storage. The Centre has also upgraded its electrical systems to increase efficiency, installed LED lights, which are more energy conserving, and replaced equipments with more energy and fuel-efficient ones, as necessary. Water harvesting and measures to optimise water usage have also been instituted.
Notes for Editors
The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (www.icipe.org) was established in 1970 in direct response to the need for alternative and environmentally friendly pest and vector management strategies in Africa. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, icipe is mandated to conduct research and develop methods for pest control that are effective, selective, non-polluting, non-resistance inducing, and affordable to resource-limited rural and urban communities. icipe’s mission further extends to the conservation and utilization of Africa’s rich insect biodiversity. icipe focuses on sustainable development, including human health as the basis for development, and the environment, as the foundation for sustainability. Working through a holistic and integrated approach through the 4H paradigm – Human, Animal, Plant and Environmental Health – icipe aims at improving the overall well-being of communities in tropical Africa by addressing the interlinked problems of poverty, poor health, low agricultural productivity and degradation of the environment.
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is Switzerland’s international cooperation agency within the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). With research cooperation and support from SDC, icipe has been able to achieve significant progress and success to combine basic and applied research to develop, introduce and adapt new tools and strategies for arthropod management that are environmentally safe, affordable, socially acceptable and applicable by the target end-users, the rural and urban poor in Africa. icipe’s aim is to bring the results out of the laboratories into practice, is exactly where SDC sees icipe’s comparative advantage compared to other agricultural research entities. And this is exactly also why SDC has a long-standing relationship with icipe and is one of the most faithful donors and enthusiastic supporter of this innovative and progressive institute. SDC’s support to icipe is an important component and has enabled the Centre to develop and sustain its technologies and research capacity in areas that are of relevance to poverty reduction, to encourage exchange of ideas and information including data base management.