Div­i­dends fol­low Obama visit as Kenya power bids take shape

East African Business Week - - ENERGY -

WASH­ING­TON, USA-- The United States Trade and Devel­op­ment Agency (USTDA) has given an out­line of the een­rgy ini­tia­tives ear­marked for Kenya in the wake of Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s visit in mid-year.

Dur­ing the Usafrica Business Fo­rum, the USTDA launched its largest sin­gle in­vest­ment in Kenya’s power sec­tor to date.

At a cer­e­mony wit­nessed by the Deputy Pres­i­dent of the Repub­lic of Kenya, the Honor­abl William Ruto, and Power Africa Co­or­di­na­tor An­drew Her­scowitz, USTDA Di­rec­tor Leo­ca­dia I. Zak an­nounced sup­port for six projects that will iden­tify US so­lu­tions that can help in­crease ac­cess to af­ford­able, re­li­able elec­tric­ity across Kenya and help di­ver­sify the country’s en­ergy mix. The projects will also boost Kenya’s re­new­able en­ergy pro­file.

These in­clude the Gi­taru So­lar PV Plant. USTDA Di­rec­tor Zak and Albert Mugo, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor and CEO, Kenya Elec­tric­ity Gen­er­at­ing Com­pany Lim­ited (Ken­gen), signed a grant agree­ment to sup­port the devel­op­ment of a 10-megawatt (MW) so­lar pho­to­voltaic (PV) project. The project, which is co-lo­cated with an ex­ist­ing Ken­gen-owned hy­dro plant, will be Ken­gen’s first util­ity scale so­lar as­set.

USTDA will part­ner with Quaint En­ergy Kenya Ltd. to de­velop the 40 MW Nyak­were Hills So­lar PV Plant in eastern Kenya.

Suc­cess­ful project im­ple­men­ta­tion would re­duce or avoid tonnes of green­house gas emis­sions per year as an al­ter­na­tive to fos­sil fuel power sources.

Zak and Al­fred Achar, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Quaint En­ergy Kenya, signed the grant agree­ment.

In the So­lar Mi­cro­grid So­lu­tions for Island and Vil­lage Elec­tri­fi­ca­tion project, USTDA and Re­new­able World East Africa, an en­ergy ac­cess non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion, will de­velop min­i­grid so­lar and bat­tery stor­age sys­tems at eight lo­ca­tions across Kenya. These will have a com­bined 1.5 MW of new power gen­er­a­tion ca­pac­ity. On com­ple­tion an es­ti­mated 4,500 house­holds and busi­nesses will ben­e­fit. The fea­si­bil­ity study will be con­ducted by Re­newvia En­ergy Cor­po­ra­tion, an Amer­i­can com­pany which is shar­ing its costs. Re­newvia CEO Trey Jar­rard signed the cost share agree­ment along with Zak.

For the Olka­ria Geo­ther­mal Power Plant, USTDA will part­ner with Aki­ira Geo­ther­mal Lim­ited to as­sess the vi­a­bil­ity of a 70 MW geo­ther­mal power plant north­west of Nairobi.

When com­pleted it would pro­vide clean, baseload re­new­able power and sup­port Kenya’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the re­gional power pool. Zak and Paul Stroud, a Board Mem­ber of Aki­ira Geo­ther­mal Lim­ited, signed the grant agree­ment. Other projects in­clude the Lamu Gas-to-power Project.

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