Kenya to receive US 2.2m investment in two solar plants

Kenya is set to receive US $2.2m investment from the UK Government for two new solar plants in Kenya as part of the UK’s Department for International Development’s Transforming Energy Access programme.

Minister for Africa Harriet Baldwin confirmed the reports and said that UK will partner with private infrastructure development group InfraCo to develop the two plants in Samburu and Transmara.

“Transforming Energy Access is using the UK’s expertise in technology and finance to provide power for people across Africa and tackle one of the world’s biggest challenges, climate change,” said Harriet Baldwin.

Transforming Energy Access programme

The two parties will also look to see if these projects would be viable for a power purchase agreement (PPA) in Kenyan shillings, making it one of the first PPAs in sub-Saharan Africa to be negotiated in the local currency.

The two solar plants are estimated to each produce a capacity of 10MW upon completion. The Transforming Energy Access programme supports early-stage testing for easy access to clean energy for housing and business. The programme has seen a success of having carbon emissions in Africa cut down by two million tonnes and helped to obtain US $359m of investment from the public and private sectors.

“The UK government’s investment in clean energy and waste reduction for people and businesses will help millions of people across Africa. It’s a win for the developing world and a win for the UK,” said Harriet Baldwin.

Kenya is in the race of providing even distribution across the country. In 2018, the government announced its intention to achieve universal electricity access by 2022 through on-grid, off-grid and small-scale solutions, and these schemes will help demonstrate that small-scale plants are commercially viable.