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The Kenyan Investment Authority and Meru County Government have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with leading global renewable energy developers Windlab and Eurus Energy for the development of Africa’s first large scale hybrid wind, solar PV, and battery storage project – the Meru County Energy Park.

Meru County Energy Park will provide up to 80MW of clean, sustainable renewable energy, consisting of up to 20 wind turbines and more than 40,000 solar panels.

The project is expected to inject $150 million in investment to Meru County, Kenya and will produce enough reliable, predictable energy to power well over 200,000 homes.

The agreement (which was signed at an official ceremony in the presence of Cabinet Secretary Foreign Affairs Ambassador Monica Juma of the Republic of Kenya, and Prime Minister Shinzō Abe of Japan) forms part of the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7), which is being held this week in Yokohama, Japan.

It is a flagship project for Meru County Investment and Development Corporation (MCIDC).

The project is being developed in a partnership between MCIDC and Windlab East Africa (which is owned by Windlab Limited and Eurus Energy), as a premier example of a successful Public-Private Partnership initiative.

The project is expected to commence construction in 2021 and Meru County will continue to own part of the project when operational.

The MCIDC shareholding will earn the County predictable revenue over the project lifecycle over and above the inherent project implementation benefits to the local community.

The MoU confirms the cooperation between the Government of Kenya (through KenInvest and Meru County) and Windlab and Eurus Energy towards the implementation of the project, which will also include capacity building and knowledge transfer efforts.

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Windlab has operated globally for over a decade and has a stellar track-record of delivered renewable energy projects across three continents, including the successful development and implementation of the world’s first utility-scale hybrid renewable energy project, Kennedy Energy Park in Australia (which is co-owned by Eurus Energy).

“We are excited to bring world-leading innovation in the renewable energy sector and project development expertise to Meru County, Kenya”, commented Roger Price, Windlab’s Global CEO, who was in attendance in Yokohama for the signing of the MoU this week.

At the signing ceremony, Hideyuki Inazumi, CEO of Eurus Energy, commented: “Windlab and Eurus Energy have a successful history of developing and implementing innovative projects together, and we are delighted to be expanding our partnership to include the Kenyan Government through the TICAD commitments.”

“Previous TICAD events have resulted in a number of highly successful Japanese-African ventures and we intend to use this opportunity to strengthen our commitment to working with Windlab on world-leading renewable energy projects across East Africa. The flagship Meru County Energy Project will be one of our first projects in the region,” added Inazumi.

MCIDC's acting Managing Director, Eng. Samwel Odhiambo, stated: “Our partnership with Windlab is going from strength to strength and the signing of the MoU will bring further momentum, helping us to fast-track delivery of the project and the many associated benefits to the people of Meru County."

He added: "Signing the MoU here in Japan is a major milestone for the project. We are looking forward to hosting Africa’s first hybrid renewable energy facility in our county.”

KenInvest's managing director, Dr Moses Ikiara, pledged his support, stating: “As Kenya moves to implement the medium-term Big Four Agenda, promotion of predictable and sustainable renewable energy is key to guarantee successful realisation of the Manufacturing Pillar. We are excited to welcome Windlab and Eurus Energy to invest in Meru and shall offer them all the support required to deliver the project”.