The United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has signed a US $897 grant. The money will cater for a research on the development of three sizeable hydro power plants in Kenya. Virunga Power Kenya Ltd will also use the money to identify sites suitable for power generation. Additionally, they will also propose the best way to connect homes and businesses to clean, reliable electricity.
Virunga’s managing director, Brian Kelly said that the funds will help Kenya reach targets set for electrification in rural areas. In addition, they will also help promote community co-ownership and participation in small renewable energy projects across region and beyond.
The study comes as Kenya makes the move from hydro and fossil fuel plants. As a result, the country is now looking to geothermal, wind and solar sources for electricity generation. The aim of this is to step up electricity generation for local use and export the excess to neighboring countries.
The study will allow the developers identify US equipment manufacturers and service providers. This is according to Ms Lida USTDA’s regional director for sub-Saharan Africa. The selected candidates should be well-positioned to house the hydroelectric plants.
Kenya Electricity Generation Company
USTDA has also loaned US $1.6 million to Kenya Electricity Generation Company (KenGen) and Xago Africa Ltd. The money is to develop their power generation projects in geothermal and solar fields. Furthermore, KenGen plans to increase the amount of electricity generated through the plants at Olkaria fields.
USTDA and KenGen donated US $500,000 for a study to assess the use of US technology solutions. This will serve to increase energy and power production. Nevada-based energy equipment manufacturer Langson Energy Inc is conducting the study.