Two new solar photovoltaic plants are set to be constructed in Kenya. This is after the European Investment Bank (EIB) and FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank agreed to finance construction and operation of the plants.
The two plants estimated to cost US $147m will be built close to Eldoret, 300km north-west of Nairobi. The two adjacent sites will use 300,000 panels that track to harness the maximum amount of solar energy and will be connected to the national energy grid.
EIB and FMO will each provide US $53m for the project and the remainder provided by the project promoters Frontier Energy, DL Group of Companies and Paramount Bank. According to European Union Ambassador, Simon Mordue, the two schemes will diversify Kenya’s electricity supply away from both rain-dependent hydro and fossil fuels, contribute to improving grid stability in Western Kenya and cater for expected increased in energy use in the coming years.
“As world leaders meet in New York to discuss future plans to save our planet, Kenya with EU support, is leading the way with visionary climate action. These two new solar schemes will provide clean energy for Kenya and demonstrate direct benefits of the close partnership between Kenya and the European Union,” said Simon Mordue.
National electrification strategy
“We are very pleased to have reached this milestone and to see that construction is now well underway. Both projects will increase the much-needed electricity generation capacity in Western Kenya and improve the region’s access to reliable energy. Being 100% green, the projects also fully align with our strategic goal to take climate action and further support the transition to a low-carbon system in Kenya,” said Linda Broekhuizen, Chief Investment Officer at FMO.
The Kenyan government’s national electrification strategy aims to expand access to electricity to all citizens by 2022. This includes enabling support from development partners and private sector investment to extend electricity networks and use of on and off grid solar standalone solar systems.