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Kefalos goes green with DPA installed solar plant

The Sunday News

Judith Phiri, Business Reporter

A 600 kilowatt (kW) solar plant installed by Distributed Power Africa (DPA) for one of Zimbabwe’s largest dairy producers, Kefalos has aided the company to transition to a cost-reducing, clean and green energy source of power.

Kefalos manufactures a growing range of dairy products for the Zimbabwean and export markets.

The switch to solar energy will ensure their products are brought to the consumer at minimal damage to the environment, allowing the company to meet its environment, social and governance (ESG) goals.

It will also maintain competitiveness on a regional and global scale where consumers are becoming more and more conscious of associating themselves with brands that uphold good manufacturing practices.

In a statement, DPA said cost reduction has become the mantra for businesses the world over and for Zimbabwean run manufacturing companies, this has not been any different.

“Solar energy has become a good way to reduce manufacturing costs, allowing companies to reduce their energy bill by up to 30 percent while also reducing their carbon footprint. Kefalos’s transition to solar energy will allow them to keep essential operations running at their Bhara Bhara Factory along Mubaira Road,” read part of the statement.

“Kefalos became a pioneer in the dairy industry when they switched on the DPA installed solar plant, which provides up to 50 percent of Kefalos’ energy requirements when the factory is running at full capacity while reducing their carbon footprint significantly.”

The plant’s annual energy production of 999.6 megawatt hour (MWh) saves 599 000 kilogramme (kg) of carbon emissions and over 6 200 tonnes annually.

The grid-tied system also allows for the solar plant to supply energy to the national grid when the power demand from the Kefalos factory is below the solar plant’s power output.

Kefalos head of marketing, Mrs Pamela Tairoodza said: “For dairy companies such as Kefalos, efficient electricity supply is not only essential but critical, as the processing and handling of perishable goods requires 100 percent power up-time. This investment in green energy has ensured that we minimize the impact of power interruptions, ensuring business continuity every day.”

DPA chief executive officer (CEO), Mr Norman Moyo said as a renewable energy business of Cassava Technologies, their goal was delivering larger and unique solar-embedded grid-tied solutions.

“Kefalos deployment has proven to be one of our most complicated deployments to date as it required close coordination and integration with Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) substation and distribution network.

“The successful connection to the grid has opened up a significant opportunity for DPA to deliver larger and unique solar-embedded grid-tied solutions beyond 10MW, particularly to large users, mines and factories in the country. I am proud of the dedication of our engineers and support we received from ZETDC on this landmark project,” he said.

He said their customers were keen to increase their solar deployment to deal with adverse energy costs, while as DPA they will continue to provide financing for the solar and battery storage on a lease model.