Kenyatta University has successfully completed a Pilot Solar Module Plant at the main campus in Nairobi;this project is intended to meet part of the university’s growing power needs.
The pilot project was commissioned on December 6th 2017 by Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter alongside his French counterpart, Mr Nicolas Hulot, Minister of Ecological and Inclusive Transition. Also in attendance was Mr Arnaud Mine, Urbasolar President and Mr. Antoine Sivan, the French Ambassador to Kenya. Mr. Keter hailed KU for being the first University in Kenya to launch a solar project that will supplement the University power needs.” I hope that other Universities will pay attention and go in the same direction as KU,”he said.
For his part, KU acting Vice Chancellor Prof. Paul Wainaina revealed that a Centre of Excellence in Energy Studies will be operationalized at Kenyatta University early next year to cater for solar power training needs of the country. He said: “We feel greatly honored and privileged to have this plant which will go a long way in supplying some power to the university.”
The pilot project has a capacity of 100 kilowatts and is funded by the French government in partnership with French solar solutions provider, Urbasolar at a cost of KSh17 million.
The viability demonstration is expected to pave way for an even bigger second phase of the project – a 10MW solar park to be financed to the tune of KSh1.2 billion.
When completed, the project will set KU apart as the first public learning institution in Kenya to produce and connect solar power to the national grid. Through a Memorandum of Understanding that was signed between the French Government and KU, the French government agreed to take part in the feasibility studies of the project which will also allow KPLC to improve reliability and quality of electricity distribution in Kenya.