Backed by the Private Infrastructure Development Group and the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund, among other investors, the new plant marks a significant milestone for Africa’s energy transition efforts.
The the 40 MW Kesses solar photovoltaic plant in Kenya is now operational with backing from a partnership of investors, it was announced today.
The investors backing the project are the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), Standard Bank of South Africa Limited, and Stanbic Bank Kenya, working with their project partner, Alten Kenya Solarfarms (Alten).
Kesses is a significant milestone for EAIF, which has now supported green electricity generation in nine African countries. The fund is approaching 1000 MW renewable generation capacity across its portfolio. Likewise, 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.
Sine Zulu, investment specialist at Ninety One, the manager of the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund, said this further cemented Kenya’s status as “a global renewable energy leader”.
She added: “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. 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.”
The $87m solar plant is located near Eldoret, which has the largest population concentration in Kenya’s Rift Valley province, and will also be a significant boost in productivity for the local economy. The facility is providing thousands of people with a clean, renewable power source, in line with the achievement of SDG 7 – affordable and clean energy –, while also creating up to 400 construction jobs for local employees during operations.
100% 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.
Jorge Hernández Moro, head of asset management at Alten, commented: “Kenya is a global leader in renewable energy generation, with over 80% of electricity coming from renewable sources. Projects such as Kesses will push the country towards achieving 100% clean energy generation by 2030, helping sustain Kenya’s economic progress and accelerate recovery from pandemic-induced losses, global supply chain disruption and rising inflation.”