Kenya is expected to inch closer to realizing its dream of producing clean and affordable energy when President Uhuru Kenyatta officially launches a 54.6 MW solar plant in Garissa County on Tuesday.
According to the Rural Electrification Authority (REA); the organization responsible for overseeing the project, the plant is expected to significantly cut down on the country’s dependence on costly thermal power.
“The 54.6MW solar plant, implemented by the Rural Electrification Authority (REA), will feed into the national grid at one of the most competitive rates in comparison to other sources currently feeding into the grid,” a statement from REAs website reads.
In keeping with their earlier statement REA also announced that the project, which required a Chinese loan of Ksh. 13 billion to complete, will open up Garissa by enhancing the county’s economic development, business opportunities and tourism.
Similarly, REA revealed that all power generated from the project; which sits on 85 hectares of land, will be vended to the Kenya Power and Lighting Company.
“On completion, all the generated power will be sold to Kenya Power through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) signed under the Feed-in-Tariff policy,” REA says on their website.
The Business Daily reports that a Kilowatt hour of energy from the Garissa plant will retail at Ksh. 8 which is parallel to the rate of a kilowatt hour of wind energy but significantly lower than a kilowatt of thermal energy which sets back Kenyans at least Ksh. 20 per unit.
Implementation of the 50MW Garissa project is in line with REA’s strategic objectives to develop and promote renewable energy sources and also to enhance electricity access by the Year 2020. REA is also implementing 25 solar power mini-grid projects to electrify off- grid centres in Mandera, Garissa, Wajir, Marsabit and Turkana.