The international company ALTEN Africa, an independent solar power producer using PV technology, has made a donation to the government of the Kenyan County of Uasin Gishu, consisting of a shipment of high-protection and surgical masks, plastic face shields, hand sanitiser and individually bottled water worth 1 million Kenyan shillings (about USD10,000). With this donation the company is helping to provide the healthcare supplies needed to stop contagion of COVID-19 in one of Kenya’s highest risk and most populated regions, and in so doing helping its communities and most vulnerable groups in the fight against the spread of the virus in the country.
The healthcare supplies donated were handed over by the company at the headquarters of the government of Uasin Gishu County, during an event hosted by the Governor, His Excellency Jackson Mandago, attended also by the Vice-Governor His Excellency Daniel Chemno, the head of Trade & Industry, Dra Emily Kogos, and the Assembly Member for the County, the Honourable Gilbert Tenai. ALTEN Africa was represented by the Country Manager for Kenya, Mr Peter Sibondo, the Head of Environmental and Social corporate Responsibility, Ms. Victoria González and Mr George Tarus, Community Liaison Officer of the Kesses 1 photovoltaic plant that ALTEN Africa is developing in Uasin Gishu County.
The event was also attended by the Africa Area Manager of the NGO CESAL, Mr. Ignacio Valero and his colleagues in the country, Ms. Romana Koech, Country Manager, and Mr Henry Waitindi, Manager of the AVSI Foundation. Both NGOs have cooperated with ALTEN Africa in the conversations with the government of Uasin Gishu County and in the purchase of the healthcare supplies requested by the latter.
ALTEN Africa is building a photovoltaic solar plant called Kesses 1, with peak power of 55 MWp and 40 MWac power capacity which, once finished, will account for 2% of the country’s entire installed capacity. The new plant will discharge 123.6 GWh /year of clean energy into Kenya’s grid, enough to meet the electricity needs of 824,000
The Global greenhouse gas and climate change related impacts during the Project life-cycle are expected to be positive, as one of the main consequences of the project will be the generation of 40MW of GHG free power. Additionally, the new plant will avoid between 33 and 34 metric tonnes of carbon emissions into the atmosphere every year throughout its 25-year lifespan.
The Kesses 1 plant is ALTEN Africa’s first utility scale project in Kenya. It has one of the highest levels of solar radiation in the world, and climatic conditions that are also favourable to the plant’s energy production.
The plant closed its financing at the end of 2019 with a financial instrument from ALTEN Energías Renovables Group and will shortly close the plant refinancing with project finance led by commercial and multilateral financiers. Construction work began at the end of 2019, but is currently suspended, until the lockdown of the general population due to the pandemic is lifted.
With the commissioning of this plant scheduled for the second quarter of 2021, Kesses 1 will become one of the largest photovoltaic solar plants in east Africa. It will be connected to the Kenya Power Lighting Company (KPLC) grid, the country’s utility, via the Turkwell–Lessos power line. To achieve this ALTEN Africa has planned the construction of a substation to raise the voltage to 220 KV and a swich substation with a layout that will provide close to 100% availability to Kenya’s grid. Likewise, this infrastructure will provide a secure supply to Kenya’s electricity grid and allow future supplies in the Eldoret area to be connected.
ALTEN Africa’s commitment to Kenya
Before construction work began, in February 2020 ALTEN Africa held a meeting at the project site with the local community to explain first-hand both the project itself and the advantages it will bring. These will include the option of employing local labour and other underlying benefits. This is part of the policy of engaging with community stakeholders that ALTEN Energías Renovables establishes in all its projects worldwide to build long-term
relationships with communities and identify opportunities that contribute to the area’s economic and social development, as well as environmental preservation of the area affected by each of the projects it undertakes.
ALTEN Africa expects that most of the employees in the plant, both during the construction and in the operations & maintenance phases, will come from Eldoret’s neighbouring communities. In view of the effects of COVID-19 in Kenya, a country that is more vulnerable to the possible spread of the virus because it is a transit corridor for east Africa, ALTEN Africa is sticking to its commitment to the local population as part of its Social Investment policy, with funds earmarked for this. The company is working with the Spanish NGO CESAL and also with AVSI Foundation, making available to the Uasin Gishu government the healthcare material it requested to help to prevent new contagions.
ALTEN Africa’s senior management has made its commitment to the project abundantly clear on repeated occasions. One of the most recent, before the onset of the pandemic, was when Inspire Evolution, one of ALTEN Africa’s key shareholders in this and other projects being developed by the company in eastern and sub-Saharan Africa, held its Investment Committee meeting in Eldoret.
About ALTEN AfrIca
ALTEN Africa is part of the ALTEN Energías Renovables group, one of the most active independent power producers (IPP) on the international stage, specialising in the development, financing, construction and operating of photovoltaic solar plants in competitive environments, mainly in Latin America (through its ALTEN America
subsidiary) and sub-Saharan Africa (through ALTEN Africa).
About ALTEN Energías Renovables
ALTEN Energías Renovables (ALTEN ER) is an Independent Power Producer (IPP) specialising in photovoltaic solar energy, with offices in Spain, the Netherlands, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Mexico and Mozambique. It has extensive expertise in the development, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of PV power plants in challenging environments. The company has a 350 MWp photovoltaic solar plant in operation since 2018 in Mexico in the state of Aguascalientes, and a 300 MWp photovoltaic plant in the state of Puebla, at the financial closing stage. In Europe, the company has been operating a plant in El Casar/Guadalajara (Spain) since 2019 and has a pipeline of 300 MW at different stages of development in Portugal, Italy and Spain.
In sub-Saharan Africa ALTEN ER has been operating a 45.5MWp plant in Namibia since 2019 and has closed the refinancing of a 55 MWp plant in Kenya. It is leading a 157 MWp project at an advanced stage of development in Nigeria with a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) signed with Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader (NBET); PPA negotiations are also underway with EDM on a 40 MWp project in Cuamba (Mozambique). ALTEN ER has a
pipeline of more than 1 GW at various stages of development in Africa, Mexico and those mentioned above in Europe.