80 MW of Kenyan PV projects get €106m boost from Europe

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The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Netherlands Development Finance Company will each provide €53 million in finance for two large scale PV projects with a total generation capacity of 80 MW that are under development in Uasin Gishu county, in western Kenya.

The €106 million commitment will cover part of the estimated €147 million required for the projects. The balance, the EIB said in a press release, will be provided by investors Frontier Energy, DL Group and Paramount Bank.

The Radiant and Eldosol plants, each with a 40 MW generation capacity, will be developed next to each other near Eldoret, 300km northwest of Nairobi. The projects will sell electricity for KES12.36/kWh ($0.12) to national utility the Kenya Power and Lighting Company under the nation’s feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme.

The utility signed power purchase agreements (PPAs) for the projects in August 2017 along with two more 40 MW solar plants. At the time, Dr Frederick Nyang, director of economic regulation at Kenya’s Energy Regulatory Commission, told pv magazine all those projects would receive a tariff of $0.12/kWh for 20 years under the previous revision of the FIT law in 2012. Nyang said the projects would need to be active by this year.

David Kariuki, deputy director in charge of energy planning at the Energy Regulatory Commission told pv magazine this month that two of the facilities are under construction and will be commissioned this year. The other two, however, “are yet to meet all the conditions precedent to the PPAs and have also not reached financial close”, said Kariuki, who added: “This implies that they will delay a little further.”