European funding for solar mini grids in Kenya


A $4.2 million investment by an entity backed by the governments of the Netherlands, Switzerland and the U.K. is set to drive 22 solar mini grids across villages in western Kenya by October next year.

London-based InfraCo Africa, which is funded by the three European governments, invested the money to acquire a 40% stake in the Kudura Power East Africa mini grid developer owned by Portuguese entity Rural Village Energy Solutions.

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With installation of the solar mini grids set to start before April, the systems will provide 7,000 electricity connections across Busia county, near the Kenyan border with Uganda, offering villagers access to prepaid solar electricity and solar-powered appliances as well as powering street lighting, pumping and water purification. The grids will have generation capacities of 10-60 kWp for a total 512 kWp across the 22 systems.

The project will cost $8 million, with the $3.8 million balance being provided by a grant from the Green Mini Grid Kenya organization funded by the U.K. government's Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the EU.

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InfraCo Africa is part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group funded by the governments mentioned plus those of Australia, Sweden and Germany, along with the International Finance Corp private-sector arm of the World Bank.

Rural Village Energy Solutions also receives funding from the European Union.

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