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50MW Nandi solar plant gets Sh1.9bn AfDB loan



Market News

Electricity harvesting panels at a solar farm. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has approved a $18.17 million loan (about Sh1.86 billion) for the 50-megawatt solar project located in Kopere, Nandi County.

The project is owned and implemented by Paris stock exchange-listed French company Voltalia, an international player in the renewable energy sector.

It falls under Kenya’s renewable energy feed-in-tariff (Fit) policy and is expected to start next year. Voltalia will act as the engineering, procurement, construction operations and plant maintenance services provider.

The project will involve the construction of a 33/132 kV substation and a 1.8 kilometre transmission line to evacuate the electricity to the national grid.

Electricity distributor Kenya Power #ticker:KPLC signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the French firm in May.

The 20-year power sale contract at an undisclosed price will see the French firm use expertise of its teams based in Portugal for both construction and operation of the plant.

The firm had earlier said the plant, located on the border of Nandi and Kisumu counties “benefits from an optimal solar irradiation level”.

“This project could potentially be Kenya’s first utility-scale solar PV project under the (Fit) Policy,” said AfDB vice-president for power, energy, climate change and green growth Amadou Hott on Monday.

“We are confident that the provision of long-term and concessional financing to support the project with terms that are unavailable from commercial sources will have an important demonstration effect in attracting more investors to engage with Kenya’s vast solar opportunities.”