New Hybrid Solar and Hydropower Plant Launched in Kirinyaga County, Kenya

A  new hybrid solar and hydropower plant has been launched  to the residents of Baricho in Kirinyaga County who are set to enjoy uninterrupted power supply

The opening of the Gitwamba power plant was announced by the Renewable Energy Forum Africa, a renewable energy investment forum organised by AFSIA and SolarPower Europe, as well as Hydrobox and SolarNow.

The facility was designed as a hybrid hydro and solar power plant because the flow rate of the river oscillates between the dry and rainy seasons.

Whereas the solar system provides additional power during the dry season, the hydro plant offers additional capacity during the rainy season, providing customers in Kirinyaga County with a stable base load day and night.

The Gitwamba hydropower plant has a capacity of 170 kW.

The hydropower component has an installed capacity of 50 kW at a design flow of 0.65 m3/s.

On the other hand, the solar component has an installed capacity of 150 kWp and a capacity of 120 kVA (120 kW).

Hydrobox specialises in the development of small run-of-river hydropower projects that provide communities and businesses with reliable, eco-friendly electricity.

These power stations are deployed in areas with poor or no access to energy and serve an ecosystem of anchor customers (large farms and factories), small businesses (schools, hospitals, shops, restaurants, etc.), and household customers through a self-owned mini grid.

Similarly, SolarNow is a full-service solar EPC company that has operated in East Africa since 2011.

From a company delivering energy to over 50,000 rural consumers and small businesses, SolarNow has evolved into a solar EPC active within the commercial and industrial (C&I) market in East Africa.

SolarNow offers client financing solutions and supports businesses as well as institutions with the design and installation of their solar system solutions. It is primarily active in the education, healthcare, telecom, hospitality, manufacturing, oil and gas, real estate, and non-profit sectors.


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