Kenya is focusing on increasing its solar energy capacity, with construction of one 40-megawatt (MW) plant underway and another in the pipeline.
Greenmillenia Energy Limited’s plant in Isiolo County in northern Kenya (GEL) plans to contribute solar energy to the national grid by January 2016. Construction will cost $86 million and is being financed by the Export-Import Bank of China, with the African Development Bank expected to come on board at a later date.
Speaking with Thomson Reuters Foundation , Bartholomew Simiyu, GEL’s advisory director, said: “This project represents a sustainable renewable energy investment, which allows both GEL and the government of Kenya to take a lead in the global clean energy revolution.”
The second 40MW plant is planned on the outskirts of Eldoret by Alten Kenya Solarfarms.
The World Bank estimates that 28% of Kenya’s 40 million residents are connected to the grid.
With studies by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) indicating that Kenya receives between four and six kilowatt hours of sunshine per square metre each day, harnessing this energy would see more of the country’s residents connecting to the grid.