Pioneer solar power station set up in Wajir
‘We want to focus more on cheap and renewable energy in off-grid areas’
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