Pilot hybrid project in Africa26 March 2018
With the initial commissioning of a combined photovoltaic plant and battery system in the Zambian province of Chisamba, BayWa r.e. has successfully completed the first pilot project in southern Africa.
With the initial commissioning of a combined photovoltaic plant and battery system in the Zambian province of Chisamba, BayWa r.e. has successfully completed the first pilot project in southern Africa. It will make the Agricultural Knowledge & Training Centre (AKTC) operated by the Zambian ministry of Agriculture more independent of the volatile power supply in Zambia.
The plant supplies the farm for up to thirteen hours a day with 450 kWh of renewable energy for the irrigation of the agricultural land in the area. This equals the consumption of 150 litres of diesel fuel per day and the emission of 145 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Christof Thannbichler, md of BayWa r.e. Solar Projects GmbH: “We see great potential in the entire region for the implementation of further ... off-grid projects. We are going to significantly expand our activity on the African continent and already have further projects in development.”
The pilot plant at the AKTC farm consists of 260 solar modules with a total capacity of 86 kWe. They supply energy for the irrigation of a 90 000 m2 grain field. Surplus output is stored temporarily in a 160 kWh battery storage system. Thanks to an intelligent control system for precise pump control, the water reservoir also serves as additional storage. Together they ensure that the farm is supplied with PV power continuously from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, operating independently of the public grid which is only re-connected at night.
“It is precisely in the tropical and subtropical regions of the globe where farmers are dependent on reliable and uninterrupted power supply for the irrigation of their fields,” commented Tobias Kriete, regional manager Africa at BayWa r.e. Solar Projects GmbH.
As a general contractor, BayWa r.e. was responsible for the planning, financing, installation and turn-key hand-over of the PV plant in Zambia. In the future, the company will also assume technical operations management of the plant, including continuous monitoring of the systems from Germany.