2 March 2013

Kenya: State to Fund Sh560 Million KPLC Power Projects

Kenya Power has embarked on several renewable energy projects that will be fully funded by the Treasury at a cost of Sh560 million. The quasi-public company said the solar and wind power projects are intended to reduce reliance on diesel fuel to generate electricity for areas not yet connected to the national grid.

The off-grid power projects in North Eastern and Rift Valley provinces will save the power vendor about Sh50 million annually, usually spent in the expensive thermal power generation.

"The renewable power projects, which are wholly funded by the state, are part of the company's and government's strategy to accelerate electricity access in off-grid areas," said Eng. Henry Gichungi, the deputy manager in charge of off-grid stations, in a statement.

The NSE-listed power vendor said it so far has commissioned eight similar projects with total installed capacity of 1megawatt. The projects are located at Merti, Habaswein, Lodwar, Elwak, Mandera, Marsabit and Hola.

Planned projects will raise the renewable energy capacity in off-grid areas by an additional 2.3MW, with Wajir having the highest installed capacity of 1.3MW.

"Kenya receives good solar insolation (a measure of solar radiation energy) all year round coupled with moderate-to-high temperatures which makes it a conducive market for solar," Gichungi said.

Neither Kenya Power CEO Joseph Njoroge nor Energy PS Patrick Nyoike was immediately available to give the timeline for the projects' completion.

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