Huawei accelerates efforts to replace diesel generators with utility scale solar plants

Huawei Technologies has ramped up its drive to replace diesel generators with an enhanced set of smart solar power solutions that include utility scale plants for commercial and residential users amid increased power shortages and rising electricity prices.

The utility-scale solar facility is one which generates at least 4MW of electricity that is fed into the national grid.

Speaking at the FusionSolar Forum 2023 held this week, Leo Chen, President of Huawei sub-Saharan Africa, said that the urgency to transition to more solar power generation was being accelerated by power shortages and rising energy prices.

(TOP: Leo Chen, President of Huawei sub-Saharan Africa addresses the FusionSolar conference).

“With a heavy investment in R&D, we’ve developed the most comprehensive set of full-scenario smart PV solutions for utility-scale large plants and energy storage facilities for commercial and industrial (C&I) rooftops, residential rooftops, data centres, and smart microgrids in rural areas,” said Leo.

He indicated that to address the power deficit issue and boost a digital and sustainable future for the country, Kenya will need to invest in blended financial facilities for the funding of alternative energy installations, making it more accessible to a wider population. At the same time, the government will also have to broaden the flow of participation by upskilling people in the technology of renewable energy systems.

Implementing the utility scale solar plants is expected to hasten the growth of solar contribution to the country’s energy mix. It comes at a time when Kenya is positioning itself to raise its installed solar power generation capacity to 600 MW by 2030, up from less than 100 MW currently.

Data from the Kenya National Electrification Strategy 2018 shows that out of 10.8 million households targeted for connection under the last mile program, 9.7 million are within 15km of existing grid network while 1.1 million are located further and are best served by off-grid energy.

Kenya, said Leo, is suited for this technology due to its high insolation rates with an average of 5-7 peak sunshine hours and receives an average daily insolation of 4-6kWh/m2.

Grid connected solar systems covering an area of 15-20 km2, about 3% of the Nairobi County, could provide 3801 GWh of electrical energy a year.

He explained that by doing this, more flexible energy generation solutions that are close to the point of use can be applied and the transmission and distribution setup can be minimised, thus saving costs and losses.

Chen Guoguang, President of Huawei Smart PV Product Line echoed his sentiments, adding that, with Huawei’s innovative solutions, it has achieved a very impressive carbon footprint globally.

“By the end of 2022, Huawei Digital Power has helped our customers to offset 340 million tons of CO2 emissions, roughly the same as planting 470 million trees,” he said.

Huawei Technologies, he added, currently powers 25% of the world’s PV capacity, and is well positioned to play a growing role in the evolution of the industry.


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