Investment in geothermal energy to power operations and use of electric tugs (cars) to transport flowers have seen Kenya’s flower farm Oserian Development Company crowned winner in the Renewable Energy category of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) Energy Management Awards (EMA) 2019.
The Company’s goal of creating a carbon-free environment by 2020 has received a major boost after it was recognized as a renewable energy champion.
Kenya’s oldest flower farm was feted among some other 20 firms recognized for exemplary measures in efficient use and generation of energy.
Since the flower farm embraced heating of greenhouses with geothermal energy in 2001, it has remained the only in Africa and among the largest in the world, to use this power in flower production. Oserian runs the world’s largest geothermal powered greenhouse and flower pack house.
A year ago the company introduced geothermal powered electric cars, known as tugs to transport flowers from the greenhouses to the packhouse, an innovation that has seen reduction in fossil fuel from US$4000 to US$300 monthly, a massive savings in terms of costs and energy consumption. Within one year of introducing the electric vehicles, the company has been able to save Ksh 1.4 million on diesel.
The success of this venture has seen the company mull converting their fleet to a hundred per cent electric in the future as the company moves closer to being a carbon free business in 2020.
Oserian has also introduced hybrid sheep that are used to keep the grass short around the greenhouses, replacing the diesel mowers.
“This win is testament to the commitment we have for matters green energy especially in our daily operations and we are happy someone has recognized the effort and investment”, said Mary Kinyua, Director of Human Resources and Administration at Oserian.
The farm is set to launch a solar plant to inject an additional 1 megawatt, enabling it to supply sufficient power for all its operations and sell to the national grid.
The Energy Management Awards launched in 2004 by the GEF-KAM Energy Efficiency Project seeks to recognize enterprises that have achieved outstanding energy savings and cost reductions through improved utilization of energy.