The UK government has invited contractors to generate solar power for three villages in Turkana County in a new business model aimed at promoting privately operated mini-grids.
The project, funded through the Department for International Development (DFID), aims at promoting use of solar power in far flung regions not connected to the national electricity grid.
The project, being implemented by Barclays Bank of Kenya, has invited the contractors to apply for the funds which will be used in the purchase and installation of Solar PV Hybrid Mini-grid at Lolupe, Nadwat and Katabol villages.
"The aim of the project is to assist in market creation for private sector operated mini-grids in Kenya. All developers who successfully implement the project will be partially compensated," said the announcement placed in the Daily Nation.
Successful firms will also get an opportunity to recoup their investment through a build, own and operate model.
The move follows concerted government efforts to promote establishment of non-grid energy sources to supply electricity to far flung regions not connected to the national grid.
The model is a total departure from the traditional model where government-owned Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) generates power that is transmitted by another government entity, Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco), before the publicly listed Kenya Power takes over to supply and sell power to end users.
The announcement said that mini-grid installers would install the Solar PV Mini-grids, distribute and offer retail services to consumers.