Pi­o­neer so­lar power sta­tion set up in Wa­jir

‘We want to fo­cus more on cheap and re­new­able en­ergy in off-grid ar­eas’

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties | Northeastern - STEPHEN ASTARIKO @stephenAs­tariko

The Ru­ral Elec­tri­fi­ca­tion Au­thor­ity on Satur­day com­mis­sioned its pi­lot 60KW hy­brid-mini so­lar power sta­tion in Biya­mad­how, Wa­jir South.

It will set the stage for the roll­out of an­other 25 sim­i­lar projects in five coun­ties.

Ad­dress­ing the press af­ter launch­ing the project, REA chief ex­ec­u­tive Ng’ang’a Munyu said the suc­cess of the project to light up off-the-na­tional-grid ru­ral re­gions will spur de­vel­op­ment.

The Sh70 mil­lion project started in April.

Munyu was with se­nior of­fi­cials from REA and MP Ab­dul­lahi Diriye. He said the project is also meant to pro­mote re­new­able en­ergy and move away from diesel gen­er­a­tors that are ex­pen­sive to set up and main­tain.

“Over the years we have been pro­vid­ing elec­tric­ity to off-grid towns through diesel gen­er­a­tion. It has proved to be ex­pen­sive,” he said.

“We want to fo­cus more on re­new­able en­ergy in off-grid ar­eas. The cost of set­ting up one diesel gen­er­a­tor is Sh200 mil­lion while a sim­i­lar so­lar sta­tion goes for Sh70 mil­lion.”

Munyu said REA has ten­dered for 25 other sta­tions in Marsabit, Turkana, Garissa, Man­dera and Wa­jir. The coun- ties are be­ing eval­u­ated, and the re­port will be out in two weeks.

The CEO said the works will start in Jan­uary and are ex­pected to be com­pleted by the end of June.

Diriye said the project will spur small busi­nesses and im­prove per­for­mance in na­tional ex­ams be­cause stu­dents will be able to study at night.

He urged the REA to roll out more sim­i­lar projects in the re­gion and other Asal ar­eas that have been dis­ad­van­taged in in­fras­truc­tural de­vel­op­ment.

“Our big­gest un­do­ing in this area has been poor in­fras­truc­tural de­vel­op­ment. These projects will set the stage for the spurring of de­vel­op­ment and bet­ter­ment of liv­ing stan­dards of area res­i­dents,” he said.


Wa­jir South MP Ab­dul­lahi Diriye (R) is shown around by REA of­fi­cials dur­ing the com­mis­sion­ing of the 60KW so­lar power sta­tion in Biya­mad­how on Satur­day

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