Kenya launches 50MW solar power plant

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Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has launched one of the largest photovoltaic electricity stations in Africa It is a 50 MW solar power farm located in Garissa, northeast region, with the plant being one of the largest photovoltaic electricity stations in Africa.

The project was designed and built by the EPC contractor China Jiangxi Corporation for International Economic and Technical Co-operation (CJIC), in conjunction with Kenya’s Rural Energy Authority (REA).

The solar plant puts Kenya on the path of achieving green energy sufficiency as the east African nation also runs one of the largest wind farms in the continent.

The plant, which is a large solar energy installation in East and Central Africa, adds to Kenya’s rich profile as the epicenter of green energy generation in Africa, Kenyatta said during the launch.

At the launch, Kenyatta noted the power plant which is near the border with Somalia is part of a broad government renewable energy strategy to harvest 400 MW of electricity from the country’s vast solar resources.

He announced that Garissa, which was previously dependent on unstable thermal power, is now fully connected to the national power grid.

Kenyatta added his government will continue to initiate various development projects across the country to help the people.

“We want money allocated for development to go to the right projects but not the pockets of a few people. You, the people, are our employers and you have the right to hold us as leaders to account to make sure your money is used properly,” said Kenyatta.

He said the government is keen on narrowing the development gap between regions of the country.

Peter Mbugua, chief executive officer of REA, said the project was commissioned in November 2018, and has been generating power for the last year.

He noted that during construction, the firm dug a borehole for the community and the project employed about 600 people.

Mbugua said that the project was funded through government to government agreement between Kenya and China. The equipment and technologies are from China.

Zhang Jian, country representative of CJIC in Kenya, said the project started in 2017 and was completed in one year.