THE first biogas plant in Africa to produce electricity and sell surplus to the national grid, has now been fired up in Kenya.
Industry sources said the Gorge Farm Energy Park in Kenya’s Naivasha province will produce 2 megawatts (MW) of electricity – which will supply power to its 1,740 acres of vegetables and flowers, with surplus electricity routed to 5,000-6,000 rural homes, through the Kenya national grid.
The plant produces biogas through anaerobic digestion, a process in which crop residue from the farm is digested by micro-organisms. The biogas produced is burned in two engines, producing both electricity and heat in a process called cogeneration.
A biogas expert said apart from the new plant generating electricity, heating the farm’s greenhouses, with fertiliser as a by-product, it will also cut carbon emissions associated with oil-powered plants.
Commenting on the biogas plant, Mike Nolan, chief operating officer at Tropical Power, a developer of biogas and solar plants in Africa, said: “The Gorge Farm plant is physical proof that locally produced feedstock can be used to generate clean and cost-effective power for all Kenyans.”
Mike has built 56 power plants in 22 African countries, installing a total of over 1GW of diesel-generated power.