Kenya set to get Sh15b solar plants

Wednesday, September 25th, 2019 00:00 |
Solar panel. Photo/Courtesy

Kenya’s quest for cleaner energy is on track after the European Investment Bank (EIB) agreed to finance the construction of two solar plants at a cost of Sh15.3 billion.

European Union Ambassador, Simon Mordue said the projects demonstrated direct benefits of the close partnership between Kenya and the European states’ economic unit.

“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,” he said.

The new Radiant and Eldosol plants are being built close to Eldoret, 300km northwest 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 Kenyan national energy grid. 

Photovoltaic plants

European Investment Bank (EIB) and Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank (FMO) will each provide $53 million (Sh5.3 billion) for the new solar photovoltaic plants.

The remainder of the $147 million (Sh15.3 billion) total project cost would be provided by the project promoters Frontier Energy, David Langat, Chairman of the DL Group of Companies and Ayaz Merali, Managing Director of Paramount Bank. 

Catherine Collin, EIB Regional Representative for East Africa, said expanding renewable energy is crucial to enable all Kenyans access electricity. 

“The EIB is pleased to support the Radiant and Eldosol solar projects and build on our track record of supporting expansion of wind, geothermal and solar power across Africa and around the world,” she added.

Successful financial close of this project, Colin said, demonstrates the close co-operation of government, development partners and private sector investment and the shared goal of supporting national electrification.

Chief Investment Officer at FMO Linda Broekhuizen, said the organisation was pleased to have reached the milestone and to see that construction was 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,” she added.

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