The two solar plants near the city of Eldoret, pictured, in northwestern Kenya. Source: Shadychiri, Wikimedia Commons
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Dutch development bank FMO have agreed to finance the construction and operation of two solar plants in Kenya with a combined capacity of 80MW.
The two banks will contribute $ 53 million each to the two 40MW plants, which are located 300 km northwest of Nairobi.
Renewable energy investor Frontier Energy and a pair of prominent Kenyan entrepreneurs, Nairobi-based DL Group Chairman David Langat and Ayaz Merali, Managing Director of Paramount Bank of Kenya, have contributed another $ 41 million
The adjacent Radiant and Eldosol plants will have 300,000 panels and will be connected to the Kenyan grid.
Construction of the plants is underway and expected to be completed in mid-2020, the EIB told PV Tech today, adding that Valencia-based Grupotec is the EPC contractor.
Catherine Collin, EIB Regional Representative for East Africa, said the project’s financial closure was a testament to the “close cooperation of the government, development partners and private sector investment” to achieve Kenya’s national electrification goal.
Kenya wants universal access to electricity for its citizens by 2022 and intends to do so by encouraging private investment in off-grid and on-grid solutions.
In early September, Kenyan authorities signed an interim agreement with Eurus Energy and Windlab for an 80MW solar plus wind power installation, considered by the project sponsors as the largest hybrid project on the continent, in central Kenya. . Construction of the $ 150 million project is scheduled to begin in 2021.
The EIB, the investment arm of the European Union, is debating plans to decisively shift its multi-billion dollar energy strategy away from fossil fuels, towards energy storage and free-market renewables, according to a draft energy policy distributed to mid September.