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Kenya has announced it is developing renewable power projects in the North Eastern and Rift Valley provinces at a total cost of Ksh 560mn (approximately US$6.5mn)
According to state-run Kenya Power, the solar and wind power projects will complement diesel generation in areas not connected to the national grid.
Henry Gichungi, deputy manager of off-grid stations at Kenya Power, said, “Kenya’s geographical location astride the equator gives it a unique advantage for a solar energy market. The country receives good solar insolation all year round coupled with moderate to high temperatures which makes it a conducive market for solar.”
Once operational, the solar and wind power projects will help reduce the use of fuel that runs off-grid diesel generators, thereby saving an estimated Ksh 50mn (US$582,070) annually.
Kenya Power said it had so far commissioned eight solar and wind projects with a total installed capacity of one megawatt (MW).
According to Gichungi, plans are underway to increase the commissioned renewable energy capacity in off-grid areas by 2.3 MW. Wajir will be the biggest beneficiary with solar and wind projects totalling 1.3 MW.
Gichungi said that the renewable power projects, which are wholly funded by the state, were part of the country’s strategy to accelerate electricity access in all parts of the country, including off-grid areas.
Renewable power projects have so far been introduced in Merti, Habaswein, Lodwar, Elwak, Mandera, Marsabit in Eastern and North Eastern Provinces and Hola in Coast Province.