A commercial farm in Kenya has become Africa’s first electricity producer powered by biogas to sell surplus electricity to the national grid, cutting the carbon emissions associated with oil-powered generation, Reuters reported.
The Gorge Farm Energy Park, located in Naivasha, produces 2MW of electricity, which is more than enough to cultivate its 706 hectares of vegetables and flowers, informed ESI Africa. Additionally, electricity produced is enough to power up to 5,000-6,000 rural homes.
The new plant generates not only electricity, but also heat for the farm’s greenhouses, with fertiliser as a by-product.
In 2016, Biojoule Kenya, the independent power producer that operates the plant, signed an agreement to sell electricity to the country’s power distributor, Kenya Power & Lighting Company (KPLC).
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.
Tropical Power said the biogas plant offsets nearly 8,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, since the farm does not have to use electricity from the grid produced by oil-fired power stations.