While electricity continues to be costly and unreliable in Africa, solar energy prices have fallen, allowing companies like Namibia Breweries to operate almost entirely off grid, according to a report at CleanEnergyAuthority.com.
Namibia’s largest brewery recently installed a 1.1-megawatt hybrid electricity system that it claims is the largest rooftop solar project to date in Africa.
The hybrid system blends solar photovoltaic panels and diesel generation, allowing the business to operate almost entirely off grid, according to a prepared statement.
Germany-based Danauer Solartechnik and China-based CNPV designed and built the hybrid diesel and solar project.
Electricity prices in Namibia and throughout Africa are high and the grid can be unreliable, the report said. Many home and business owners supplement grid power with diesel generators, according to the statement.
As solar prices have dropped in the last two years, solar energy is emerging as a strong replacement for both diesel and costly grid power.
Since solar only works without battery backup during the day – and battery technology is still costly and in its developmental stages, the report said – Namibia Breweries decided to supplement its new solar system with a diesel generator.
The project was a first in Africa for Danauer.