Kenya’s Davis and Shirtliff launches Solar Minigrids

Supplier of water equipment, Davis & Shirtliff is targeting industries and hospitality establishments after unveiling solar minigrids.

Other targets include gasoline stations and institutions of higher learning.

A drop in the average price of solar modules from Sh300/w in 2008 to Sh40/w, it says, will help them reduce energy costs as well as the cost of acquisition.

“Solar mini grids are providing high-quality uninterrupted electricity for large and mid-sized establishments and are the ultimate solution to closing the energy gap currently affecting underserved communities,” said Davis & Shirtliff Group Solar Segment Manager Norman Chege.

The Africa Solar Industry Association shows that close to 1.9 GWp of large-scale projects in Africa were in different development stages by the start of 2023.

The explosion of solar minigrids across Kenya and most African countries is now offering more than just lighting up rural homes and supporting small appliances like charging phones and TVs; it is also powering heavy machines like posho mills.

To complement these developments, the company is also partnering with County governments on installation of minigrids to expand and open up inactive towns.

“Davis & Shirtliff has been scaling up its support to Counties through solar projects as part of helping counties develop comprehensive electrification programs for low-income, off-grid households, and businesses,” said Chege.

“Solar mini grids have become the cheapest and most cost-effective way to bring high-quality 24/7 electricity to towns and cities off the grid or experiencing regular power cuts,” he added.

According to The World Bank’s Mini Grids for Half a Billion People: Market Outlook and Handbook for Decision Makers, there has been an acceleration in the deployment of solar mini-grids in Africa, from just 500 in 2010 to 3,000 today.

The Handbook, however, shows Africa will need to put up more than 160,000 minigrids at a cost of US $91 billion to connect 380 million people on the continent.

Across its twelve presences in Eastern, Southern, and Central Africa, Davis & Shirtliff has more than 100 solar mini-grid projects that have been confirmed and are ongoing.

Solarization of boreholes and water supply bodies, commercial and industrial grid connections, and solar generation power supply now form the group’s core business.

It is also offering solar mini-grids and PAYGO residential off-grid solutions to the whole of marginalized Africa, where residential rural off-grid users pay slowly as they use.

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