Featured image: President Uhuru Kenyatta. Credit: CNN

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to commission a 54.6MW solar plant on Tuesday.

Based in Garissa County, the solar plant is considered the largest in East and Central Africa and will increase the country’s installed electricity capacity to above 2,352MW, reports The Exchange.

Implemented by the country’s Rural Electrification Authority (REA), the plant will feed into the national grid at one of the most competitive rates in comparison to other sources currently feeding into the grid, the government has affirmed.

A Power Purchase Agreement with Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) is said to be already in place. Read more: Moi International Airport to operate on solar power

The project is anticipated to strengthen Kenya’s rich solar energy resource, an investment that will diversify the power generation mix and expected to reduce energy costs.

The solar plant occupies a total of 200 acres. It is located in Barki Village and has been funded by the People’s Republic of China at a cost of Ksh13 billion ($126 million).

Solar plant to boost economic hub

To support the project, a 6km 132kV transmission line with 16 pylons (towers) has been put in place between the REA solar power plant and the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (KETRACO) substation in Garissa.

The completion of this project is expected to further open up Garissa County, which is the economic hub of the northeastern region by enhancing economic development by boosting business and other economic activities such as tourism.