Kenya has officially launched a 50 MW solar power farm in Garissa County. President Uhuru Kenyatta performed the launched ceremony of the plant which is part of a broad government renewable energy strategy to harvest 400 MW of electricity from the country’s vast solar resources.
The solar farm which sit on 120 acres, is located in the northeast region and was designed and built by the EPC contractor China Jiangxi Corporation for International Economic and Technical Co-operation (CJIC), in conjunction with Kenya’s Rural Energy Authority (REA).
The project was funded through government to government agreement between Kenya and China. Construction began in 2017 and took a year. Equipment and technology were sourced from China.
“The output for annual power supply from the project is 100,000 MWH. I am so proud the project was successfully completed and has state-of-art equipment. We are hopeful it will serve Kenya for the next 25 years,” said Zhang Jian.
Peter Mbugua, chief executive officer of REA, noted that during construction, the firm dug a borehole for the community and the project employed about 600 people. 50 local experts were trained for the installation of solar panels, operation and repairs during the project.The solar farm is expected to meet power demand of 70,000 households in Kenya According to the project developers, it is one of the largest photovoltaic electricity stations in Africa.
President Uhuru said that the power plant additionally, puts Kenya on the path of achieving green energy sufficiency as the east African nation also runs one of the largest wind farms in the continent.
“The plant, which is a large solar energy installation in East and Central Africa, adds to Kenya’s rich profile as the epicenter of green energy generation in Africa. Garissa, which was previously dependent on unstable thermal power, is now fully connected to the national power grid. We are reducing the energy gap that existed by developing our country uniformly from Moyale to Namanga from Mombasa to Lake Victoria,” said President Kenyatta.