Nairobi — Alten Kenya Solarfarms (Alten) has commissioned a 44 megawatt (MW) solar facility in Kesses, Uasin Gishu County.
The project was in partnership with the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), the Standard Bank Group through the Standard Bank of South Africa, and Stanbic Bank Kenya.
It will provide thousands of people with clean, renewable power sources, contributing to the achievement of the SDG (affordable and clean energy), and create 400 construction jobs with 15 permanent jobs.
“We are thrilled to see Kesses in action, further cementing Kenya’s status as a global renewable energy leader. Africa leads the world in solar energy potential, and more projects of this type are needed to ensure we meet the continent’s growing demand for energy without compromising GHG emissions,” Ninety One Investment Specialist Sine Zulu said.
“Kenya is the ninth African country where EAIF has supported renewable energy projects, underlining the Fund’s status as a lender of choice for renewable energy companies investing in Africa.”
Kesses is a significant milestone for EAIF, which has now supported green electricity generation in nine African countries.
The Fund is approaching 1000 MW of renewable generation capacity across its portfolio.
Expanding investment in clean, affordable power solutions is an important part of PIDG’s strategy, as the Group aims to increase supply in Africa’s most underserved regions with an increasing focus on renewables and off-grid technologies.
The US$87 million solar plant is located near Eldoret, which has the largest population concentration in Kenya’s Rift Valley Province.
The town is a centre for local government, higher education, business and financial services, textile manufacturing, agribusiness, and sports tourism.
By supplying clean, renewable power to Eldoret and the surrounding communities, Kesses is driving a significant boost in productivity for the local economy.
100 percent of the electricity output is being delivered to the national grid through a 20-year take-or-pay power purchase agreement between Alten and Kenya Power and Lighting Company, the national energy utility.
“Standard Bank is committed to driving renewable energy growth across the African continent aligned to our sustainability goals and commitments,” Standard Bank Executive Energy and Infrastructure Finance Sherrill Byrne said.
“Standard Bank is one of the leading lenders to the Kenyan IPP sector and we were delighted to partner with EAIF in bringing the Kesses solar project to operation. Alten is a long-term client of Standard Bank, having supported them in Namibia as well.”