Meeco Group completes rope-structured solar PV plant in Kenya

18th November 2019 By: Marleny Arnoldi - Creamer Media Online Writer

Swiss clean energy provider Meeco Group has completed the installation of its first photovoltaic (PV) solar project using an innovative solar power mounting structure called the sun2rope.

This environment-friendly system comprises PV modules that are mounted on tailor-made rope structures, specifically designed for the project.

The sun2rope PV energy installation will provide clean energy to the renowned Kenyan eco retreat called Cottar’s 1920 Camp, which is near Kenya’s national park, the Masai Mara.

The award-winning Cottar’s 1920 Camp spreads over an area of 1 500 ha, with a large concentration of watchable wildlife, and provides ten tents to host nature-loving safari tourists.

To supply the eco resort with renewable energy, seven rows of 168 highly efficient polycrystalline PV modules, with a total capacity of 54 kW have been installed.

Once the site is completely finalised and commissioned, the generated energy is intended to charge the batteries of the energy management and storage system sun2safe and for hot water treatment, as well as charging the sun2move e-bikes owned by the safari camp.

The modules are mounted on special long-life, and exceptionally resistant, technical ropes supported by robust wooden poles. These ropes are distinguished by their high breaking strength and low weight.

The sun2rope solar PV structure is designed to resist wind speeds of up to 36 m/s. The core of the rope consists of a special ultrahigh-molecular-weight polyethylene braid with a coat made of black ultraviolet-resistant polyester braid.

The ropes were developed and engineered in conjunction with German company Gruschwitz Textilwerke, which has been engaged in this industry for more than 200 years.

With sun2rope the impact on the natural environment is minimised by the fact that heavy steel structures are replaced with rope and sturdy wood. Additionally, it reduces the logistic costs by making use of the locally available wood from controlled planting areas compared with steel structures that have long shipping delays.

“We are proud to support the Cottar’s 1920 Camp in its endeavour of protecting wildlife and nature by delivering clean, sustainable and innovative renewable energy solutions as a sustainable power source, giving way to a reduced use and new deployment of diesel-based generators,” says Meeco senior project manager Michael Georg.