National Energy Globe Award for solar project in Zambia
This solar installation generates 450 kWh of energy per day and, in conjunction with an intelligent storage system, it ensures that 90,000 square metres of arable land is irrigated sustainably. Since 2000, outstanding sustainability projects that support the protection of resources, energy efficiency and the use of renewable energies have been distinguished by the Energy Globe Awards every year. This year over 2,000 submissions reached the international judging panel from 180 different countries.
Tobias Kriete, Regional Manager Africa at BayWa r.e. Solar Projects GmbH, accepted the award for Zambia at the Austrian General Consulate in Munich: “The award for the project in Zambia is an acknowledgement for us to continue to drive forward our future commitment in Africa. Especially in the tropical and subtropical regions of the earth, farmers depend on a reliable and continuous supply of electricity for irrigating their fields. With intelligently designed off-grid solutions such as our PV battery storage plant on the Agricultural Knowledge & Training Centre (AKTC) farm, we can make businesses independent from any access to the public grid.”
The photovoltaic plant stands on the grounds of the AKTC farm, operated by the German and Zambian Department of Agriculture, and consists of 260 solar panels erected in an east and westward-facing direction with a total output of 86 kWp. They supply energy for the irrigation of the 90,000 m2 of corn fields on the farm. If more energy is generated than can be used immediately, it is stored in an intermediate 160 kWh battery storage system. Thanks to an intelligent control system used specifically for the management of the pumps, the water reservoir can also be used as an additional storage facility. This continuously supplies the AKTC farm with PV current from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and it is wholly independent from the public grid network during this time.
“The primary objective of the Energy Globe Award is to present innovative sustainability projects to the public at large and to showcase that such projects provide social and economic benefits and motivate others to get involved,” explains Wolfgang Neumann, initiator of the worldwide Energy Globe Award. “With this PV project at the AKTC farm, BayWa r.e. has ably demonstrated how we can protect the resources on our earth with new technology and what an important role renewable energy play in the economic development of Africa.”
All the projects distinguished with the National Energy Globe Award also participate in the Energy Globe World Award, which is presented at the end of the year.
Picture: Andreas Haidenthaler, Consul for trade matters at the Austrian Consulate General in Munich, hands over the award to Tobias Kriete.