HomeRegional NewsEast AfricaSolar PV: Utility scale developer secures $2.2bn for power projects

Solar PV: Utility scale developer secures $2.2bn for power projects

East Africa to develop clean power plants in order to expand electricity access

In East Africa, utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) developer SkyPower signed a $2.2 billion (ZAR25 billion) landmark agreement with the Kenyan Ministry of Energy and Petroleum for the development of solar power projects, which will have a combined generation capacity of 1GW.

The solar PV projects will be built in four phases over the next five-years.

President and Chief Executive Officer of the solar PV developer, Kerry Adler, said: “Kenya has become an African hub for innovation and entrepreneurship.

“SkyPower’s solar projects will help Kenya realise its electrification goals, support the development of the country’s renewable energy industry and help the development of strong communities, generating a brighter future for all.”

Driving investment

Henry Rotich, Cabinet Secretary of the Kenyan Ministry of Energy and Petroleum said: “Sustainable electrification is a central policy issue in Kenya, and we are committed to making this a reality for our citizens, while accelerating economic growth in the process.”

According to SkyPower Executive Vice President Charles Cohen, the $2.2 billion (ZAR25 billion) investment will create an estimated 25,000 total job years in Kenya, including 200MW of fabrication and assembly facilities. In addition, the investment has committed $173 million (ZAR2 billion) to education, training, research and development.

In Zambia, the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, signed a MoU with the Industrial Development Corporation of Zambia to explore the development of two 50MW solar PV independent power projects through the Scaling Solar programme.

The projects would be Zambia’s first utility scale solar PV projects, providing competitively priced clean power that would reduce the country’s dependence on hydro resources and diversify the energy supply mix.

Biogas: Energy mix integration

In other news, one of Africa’s first grid-connected biogas plants, the Gorge Farm Energy Park biogas plant, has been generating 2.2MW of power early 2015.

The generated power has been feeding back into the country’s national electricity grid since March 2015.

The $6.5 million (ZAR88 million) biogas plant which is located in Naivasha, generates power from organic crop waste which is sourced from a neighbouring farm owned by VP Group, one of East Africa’s biggest exporters of fresh vegetables, How we made it in Africa reported.

The vegetable farm produces thousands of tonnes of organic waste annually where 50,000 tonnes will be supplied to the Gorge Farm Energy Park every year.



Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.