Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County in Kenya, was the location chosen by TrinaTracker to install Kesses. Built by this global leading tracking solutions provider, in partnership with Voltalia, Kesses is a 55 MW PV installation. An innovative project owned by Alten Energías Renovables.
This construction includes 928 single-axe Vanguard 2P trackers on which 103,936 ultra-high-power modules were mounted. Kesses also integrates an innovative multi-drive system and a robust design. Characteristics that ensure the stability of the installation, especially during the months of strong wind.
Both the trackers and the rest of the equipment, designed to work above 2,000 meters, have shown “excellent adaptability to the terrain with different ground conditions and multiple slopes”, the company said in the press release.
TrinaTracker’s new PV plant can produce 123 MW/h of clean energy per year, the sufficient to power 22,000 homes. In environmental terms, this installation will avoid the emission of 53 CO2 Tonnes annually.
The lack of local skilled labour
Agriculture and ranching are the two activities that sustain the economy of Uasin Gishu County. Therefore, the arrival of photovoltaic technology in this region came with a couple of challenges.
To begin with, there was very little, if any, local skilled labour. Faced with this limitation, TrinaTracker decided that the best would be to send an engineering team to Kenya that already had experience in the local market. A decision that was taken “to ensure the assembly’s high quality and the project’s long-time reliability”.
The foreign professionals sent to this country in East Africa were then in charge of providing technical training and on-site supervising. This allowed more than 70 local jobs to be created under the Kesses project. Consequently, the economy of Uasin Gishu County grew.
Nuno Bastos Silva, Head of Project at Voltalia, explains that “as the project is in an area where unemployment is high, all the partners involved in this project have hired a lot of local people from the various local communities, creating immense opportunities for learning and development in that region”.
The weather conditions were also a challenge
The rainy season, whose duration is six months, were another thing that the team had also to deal with. Due to the weather conditions, those responsible for this project had to adapt “the management of the local machinery, the offloading and distribution of material across the site, and the assembly of the trackers”.
Additional health and safety measures were implemented, along with an efficient and well-organised contingency plan. Something that helped TrinaTracker to guarantee both the safety and well-being of the workers, as well as the timely execution of the project.
“The outstanding excellency carried out by TrinaTracker in this important and challenging project in Africa shows extensive experience in projects located in distant regions, with difficult environments”, defends Nuno Bastos Silva. Another point highlighted by the Head of Project at Voltalia was “the TinaTracker’s great capacity in terms of human resources and equipment management”.
The notable TrinaTracker bet in Kenya
Despite all the challenges faced when installing the photovoltaic power plant in Kenya, the TrinaTracker never gave up. Instead of that, the company ended up developing, in addition to Kesses, two other plants in this country. Three projects that together accumulate a total capacity of 155 MW, which positions TrinaTracker as a leading tracking solutions provider in the region.
“I am glad to confidently affirm that we are one of the few tracker solutions providers that can assure efficiency and promptness in implementing PV projects in Kenya”, shares José Carlos Talavera. “It is really gratifying to see how TrinaTracker provides excellent services even in the most remote and demanding areas of the world”, adds the Head of Operations and Fulfilment at TrinaTracker.