Voltalia bags EPC, O&M contract for 40 MW PV project in Kenya

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Independent power producer (IPP) Alten Africa has chosen Voltalia as its EPC and O&M contractor for a 40 MW utility-scale project in Kenya. It will be located in the state of Uasin Gishu, in the municipality of Eldoret. Once completed, the plant will comprise 2% of the country’s total power generation capacity.

According to the company’s statement, commercial operations are scheduled for March 2020, from which point on the site is expected to generate 123.6 GWh annually. This should be enough to meet the energy demands of 824,000 Kenyans, the company said. A total of 161,000 monocrystalline modules are set to be used, which will be mounted on single-axis trackers.

Kenya, together with the World Bank, has recently presented a roadmap for achieving universal electricity access, the Kenya National Electrification Strategy (KNES). According to the plan, the goal should be achieved by 2022, with solar PV a pivotal role.

“The World Bank is committed to helping Kenya extend modern, affordable, reliable and clean energy services to all its citizens,’’ said World Bank Country Director, Felipe Jaramillo, at the event earlier this month. “Currently, the Bank is financing electrification under the ongoing Kenya Electricity Modernization Project (KEMP) and Kenya Off-grid Solar Access Project (KOSAP) which targets to connect 235,000 and 1.3 million new beneficiaries, respectively.”

Kenya has also recently launched an Electricity Sector Investment Prospectus, which maps investment opportunities over the next five years. The instrument considers power generation, transmission, distribution, off-grid electrification, mini-grids and solar systems for homes and institutions. Overall, it finds that the country offers $14.8 billion in energy investment opportunities.

Alten Africa, says it currently has a wider pipeline in Kenya, Nigeria and Namibia. This includes, for example, a 55 MW plant in Kenya, for which it has just completed financing. Additionally, the IPP says that it is in the process of financial closure for a 45 MW PV plant in Namibia, and has a pipeline of 800 MW at various stages of development, including a 120 MW project in Nigeria.