Key trend in Africa: Safari lodges changeover to clean solar energy and storage




November 30, 2017


3:43 pm


The energy supply of remote African hotel and safari facilities has always been a challenge mostly met by the extensive and exclusive deployment of diesel generators. But more and more hotel operators are looking for greener and more profitable alternatives. The Swiss-headquartered clean energy provider The meeco Group, which is specialised in the African energy market for more than 10 years, has identified this branch-specific power demand at an early stage and developed smartly connected hybrid and trybrid solar energy generation and storage solutions for remote hotels and safari lodges according to their locally varying requirements.

As the latest report of Dr. Thomas Hillig Consulting (THEnergy) has shown, the number of safari lodges utilising clean solar energy is rising. Due to the dropping prices of solar components and the improvement of the energy storage technology, safari lodges profit economically by reducing their diesel based electricity generation costs. Furthermore, the deployment of solar installations perfectly meets the demanding requirements of their clientele, who expect a reliable, clean, quiet and sustainable power supply during their holiday stay – green holidays. According to the report, power outages, as well as noise and exhaust emissions occurring through the utilisation of diesel generators, significantly affects the satisfaction of the clients, which in terms could result in lower ratings on booking and travel portals. The pristine location of safari lodges makes hotel managers even more responsible to preserve the surrounding nature and to minimising the negative environmental impact / footprint.

Presently in the project execution phase, meeco develops intelligent trybrid solar mini-grids for the Severin Safari Camp, the Severin Sea Lodge and a 1920s Safari Camp in Kenya. “We aim to shave-off costs and emissions by installing our eco-friendly solar PV system sun2live and combine this solution with our intelligent energy management and storage system sun2safe”, explains Sebastian Bovensiepen, COO of The meeco Group. “Specially tailored sun2flow solar water pumps and sun2heat solar water heaters will complete the integrated clean energy system.” To keep the micro-grid balanced and to avoid power outages it is crucial to analyse the individual peaks in energy consumption. By installing smart meters these peaks can be monitored in detail with the energy management system sun2safe and thus, the energy supply and storage capacity can be optimised continuously.

meeco realises its safari lodge projects within the scope of sun2share business models, which stipulates the foundation of a joint venture with the customer, the shares of which are being jointly held by the customer and meeco. This sun2share business model ensures not only the basis for a joint project funding, but also a long term technical support by experienced engineers as well as a sustainable and reliable power supply. By following this green and innovative clean energy approach the deployment and subsequently use of diesel generators can be reduced to a minimum and safari lodges will become pioneers in terms of eco-friendly and sustainable tourism in Africa.

We have been awarded to equip the NAREI in Guyana with solar sytems. Find out more.

Our 10 MWp solar power project in Antigua has won the CREF Award. Read the full article here.