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Vlog: Solar Powered Milk Collection Centre in Rwanda

SPECIFIC has been supporting Solapak Development Limited to install a solar power system at Kageyo Milk Collection Centre in Rwanda. In this vlog, Business Development Manager Mark Spratt takes us on a tour . . .

Vlog Transcript

This is Kageyo Milk Collection Centre, in Kayonza district, in the south-east of Rwanda. This centre is used for collecting milk from local farmers, where it’s agglomerated into large milk-chilling containers, that can then be collected by the local processors, turned into pasteurised milk, yoghurts, cheese, and then sold to local supermarkets.

The company Solapak Development Limited, based in the UK, has been working with local partners to deliver a solar energy solution, that can be used here, to replace the diesel generator. You can see around me, very lush and green, the cows are very well fed, they produce a lot of milk. But when we enter the dry season, those milk volumes will go down. And critically for a place like this, if they’re trying to run off a diesel generator, the revenue from the milk isn’t sufficient to pay for the diesel. So many times a year, these diesel generators are not operated, and the centre cannot function as it should.

So Solapak Development Limited set out to install a solar power system here, and you can see that it’s underway at the moment. It’s a 20kw photovoltaic system. As well as the modules, we’ve got a power room here, with 60kw hours of BYD batteries, we’ve got victron equipment, inverters.

Solapak Development Limited approached SPECIFIC early on in the project, because in addition to installing all of the solar power system, we needed to be able to monitor it very very carefully.

The design specification and the testing of that monitoring system was very much supported through work that we did with SPECIFIC, tapping into their expertise in creating Active Buildings, particularly the Active Office and the Active Classroom, and the systems that were installed there. They were able to provide us with incredibly useful information on the things we should consider when installing this system.

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