Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) is set to become the first public university in Sub-Saharan Africa to have a green building, a move that will not only be instrumental in the push to shift to green energy but also help to conserve the environment.
This comes after Jinko Solar, a renowned innovative solar technology company, donated Solar PV equipment worth Ksh. 2.7 million to the Institute of Energy and Environmental Technology (IEET) in JKUAT, Thursday 14 April, 2022. The company is seeking collaboration with academic institutions, starting with JKUAT, as part of their strategy in ensuring the training and certification of solar energy storage professionals.
Speaking during the handing over event, JKUAT Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi underscored that since Kenya has committed to reducing its carbon emissions by 30% by 2030, the solar power systems are a major intervention that not only alleviates the problems faced by its citizens but also play a big role in mitigating the adverse effects of climate change in Kenya.
“The path to sustainable energy now and in the future is achievable. We have to find a way to tap into a very small fraction of the sun’s energy to convert it to form a suitable source for supplying additional energy,” said Prof. Ngumi.
On his part, Mr. Sammy Borothi, the Jinko Solar East African Head emphasized that strategic partnership with institutions like JKUAT helps in spurring the adoption of solar energy as an alternative, clean source of energy, as well as creating positive impact.
IEET Director, Prof. Joseph Kamau, thanked Jinko Solar for the donation, noting that it will give the Institute great mileage towards becoming the first green building in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Part of this donation will be used to establish a solar PV carport with the electricity being channeled to power the IEET Department through a storage system, with the aim of training and eventually making the IEET building green,” he acknowledged.
Going forward, a formulation of a Memorandum of Agreement between JKUAT and Jinko Solar is in the offing, as well as a consideration for the establishment of an Energy Storage and modeling laboratory.
The lab will particularly focus on the aspects of E-mobility (electrical mobility) and energy storage. In establishing the green building, the donated Solar PV modules will be used to establish a 5.4kW peak solar PV Carport to power the IEET building with renewable energy.
Also in attendance were Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) Administration, Prof. Bernard Ikua, DVC Research, Production and Extension (RPE) Prof. Mary Abukutsa, DVC Academic Affairs, Prof. Robert Kinyua, Dr. Francis Xavier, Research Fellow of Energy at IEET, Mr. Onesmus Muli, Senior Sales Manager from Jinko and IEET officials.