26 August 2013 – Chinese state corporation, Dongfang Electric International Corporation, is to establish a solar company in Kenya’s Rift Valley region. It plans to establish the company that will generate 50 MW of solar power within Nakuru County, located to the northwest of Nairobi. This power will be fed into Kenya’s national electricity grid.
The project is expected to take three years, with the first stage being the environmental impact studies before the implementation of the solar power plant is approved. The parties hope to have completed this by early 2014. A prerequisite for the establishment of the solar firm is the acquisition of 100 acres in an environment free from animal and human interference.
Currently, Kenya’s power generation capacity stands at about 1,600 MW. However, the government has ventured into tapping thermal and geothermal energy to raise its grid capacity to 3,000 MW by 2015. According to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), demand for electricity is expected to increase by at least 11.2% due to rapid economic and population growth.