Kenya has the most prominent green building in Africa located in the capital city, Nairobi. The green building is a giant shopping mall called Garden City Mall situated along the Thika- Superhighway. Apart from the mall are a giant solar panel and a waste disposal system.
With a prospering economy, the Kenyan government has sought to use clean energy solutions to support its growing economy. The high demand for energy has been challenging to meet with the national grid system. The solar panel at Garden City was one of the many solutions to meet energy demand, especially in the overpopulated capital. The government also hopes to cut carbon emission in the country by 745 tons annually.
Garden City mall green building was opened in September 2015. The solar carport uses a ‘dual mode’ technological system to provide the generated power. Apart from cutting down carbon emissions, the solar carport offers alternative electricity, therefore, reducing the amount used from the national power grid. It also cuts on the cost of backup diesel energy solutions in case of nationwide grid power outage.
The solar carport is also used to supply energy, working together with backup diesel generators, in places that are not connected to the national power grid. In the dual mode system, the solar panel is connected to the generators to provide power. This system allows one to switch from grid power to generate energy which is produced by the solar system.
Solar energy is used to power the mall in lighting systems and others like escalators. The solar system is quite efficient as it provides 24-hour power to the mall at lesser costs. The energy is also eco-friendly. The solar carport contains 3,300 solar panels that also provide shading. It generates 1256 megawatts of power annually thus significantly reducing carbon emission in the country.
The dual mode system was provided by Solar Century making it their second solar energy project in East Africa. Solar4Africa from NVI Energy funded the project.