GE and First Solar Convert Nigerian Food Factory to Solar Power

Factory to Solar Power
Tolara food plant in Niegeria goes solar powered with GE and First Solar

Converting a Factory to Solar Power – ( Solar Thermal Magazine)

GE has announced it will supply Northern Noodles Ltd., a subsidiary of DUFIL and Tolaram Group, with solar technology to reduce emissions at a food manufacturing plant in Kaduna, Nigeria. The 575 kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) plant will be integrated with the company’s existing diesel generators and micro-grid system.

Once installed, the hybrid solution is expected to deliver 18 percent reduction in diesel fuel and associated emissions at the site.

“Tolaram strives to be an early adopter of advanced technology, and solar energy looks extremely promising. Our goal is to reduce our carbon footprint and create sustainable industrial growth,” explains Mr. Sajen Aswani, CEO of Tolaram Group.

Given GE’s expertise in renewable technology, end-to-end offering, and like-minded commitment to growth here in Nigeria, it was a natural collaboration.

GE has previously announced plans to support the financing, design and building of infrastructure and capacity across key sectors of the Nigerian economy, including rail, power and healthcare. Originally signed in 2009, GE recently renewed its “Company-to-Country” agreement with the Government of Nigeria for another five years, as part of a larger GE plan to invest $2 billion in Africa by 2018. That investment will help Nigeria as it pushes to install 40 gigawatts (GW) of additional capacity by 2020.

“This installation is an example of what’s possible for solar technology on a smaller commercial scale,” explains Jeff Wyatt, general manager of GE’s solar and energy storage business.

In many regions where there is no grid, or power from the utility grid is unreliable or expensive, manufacturers need a reliable, integrated solution they can count on. Economics of PV hybrid are attractive, and it gives them a choice in building a more sustainable, long-term energy solution.

Under the agreement, GE will provide a complete engineered equipment package, local employee training and technical support. First Solar will provide thin film modules for the project, which is expected to be in operation by July 2015.

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