USTDA helps Kenya build 40 MW solar-plus-storage power plant

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) announced it has provided a grant to Kenyan engineering company Xago Africa Limited for the development of a 40 MW grid-connected PV plant combined with a utility-scale storage system in Siaya County, in the southwest part of Kenya.

USTDA said that battery manufacturer Suniva will provide the storage technology and analytics services for the project, which is said to be the first utility-scale battery storage installation in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The County Government of Siaya (CGS) issued an expression of interest to identify and purchase the land for the $70 project in early 2015, while Xago Africa has so far conducted the feasibility studies for the back-up batteries.

The plant will be built through a public-private partnership.

The government of Siaya is seeking to attract companies interested in investing in solar energy production. Solar development, the government said, will benefit from energy zones with adequate road networking and proper security that will be established within the county. The county government is also planning to provide incentives to construction companies that will incorporate green technology in their buildings.

Furthermore, the county’s Annual Development Plan 2016-2017 encourages households to use energy conserving jikos and alternative energy sources especially solar energy in order to improve access to power.