As government targets to install power capacity of 5,000MW in 2017, preparations are underway in Eldoret to put up two proposed solar plants with a combined capacity of 80MW before the year ends. The solar projects each with an output of 40MW will be located in Solienke and Cedata, Eldoret. Details of the cost of setting up the solar plants have not been disclosed.
Though, investors behind the projects are almost reaching a financial deal paving the way for their construction.
Once set up, the solar plants will inject the second batch of solar electricity into the national grid. Recently, Strathmore University signed an electricity purchase agreement with Kenya Power that saw injection of the first solar energy to the network at $0.12 per unit. Strathmore has installed solar panels with a capacity to produce 0.6 megawatts of power at a cost of KES133.9 million ($1.3 million) through a loan from the French Development Agency, repayable within five years at an interest of 4.1 per cent.
The power purchase deal will last for 20 years. Of the total capacity, 0.25 megawatts will be sold to Kenya Power while the rest is used to power the institution.Google injected KES4bn into Lake Turkana Wind Power project with a 12.5 per cent equity stake once it is complete and operational. It is joining other investors such as OPIC, United States government development finance institution and Vestas. The 310MW wind power plant will be set up at a cost of KES72.3 billion and will supply electricity to the national grid at 8.5 US cents per unit.
According to data from the ministry of energy and petroleum, geothermal is the largest source accounting for 50 per cent of the total generation followed by hydro at 38 per cent. Wind and solar energy presently account for less than one per cent of the country’s electricity production mix.