German renewables firm BayWa r.e. has commissioned a combined PV and battery system in Zambia’s Chisamba province, to supply irrigation for aquacultural farming.

Christof Thannbichler, Managing Director of BayWa r.e. Solar Projects GmbH, said: “We are really happy to have successfully completed our first project in Africa.”

The farm is supplied for up to 13 hours per day with 450kWh, equating to emissions of 145 tonnes of CO₂ per year and 150 litres of diesel fuel per day.

Situated on the premises of the NKTC farm the pilot plant consists of 260 solar modules with a total capacity of 86kWp.

Excess energy is temporarily stored in 160kWh battery storage systems with the water reservoir also serving as additional storage.

Battery and water storage supply the farm from 7am until 7pm, operating during these hours independently from the grid. The farm is then reconnected to the grid during evening hours.

“It is precisely in the tropical and subtropical regions of the globe where farmers are dependent on reliable and uninterrupted power supply for the irrigation of their fields,” said, Thannbichler.

BayWa r.e. will assume technical operations management of the plant as well as being active in training location farmers and monitoring the systems.

The company currently has other projects in development to expand its activity on the African continent as well as continued projects elsewhere including the UK.

In October, Redavia, a solar equipment rental company, completed work on two pv-plus-storage microgrids with 300kWh of batteries in neighbouring Tanzania. 

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