The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a senior loan of $18.17 million for the development of 50 MW Kopere solar power project in Nandi County, Kenya.
The project also includes the construction of a 33/132 kV substation, and a 1.8 km transmission line to evacuate the power generated to the national grid.
“This project could potentially be Kenya’s first utility-scale solar PV project under the Feed in-Tariff (FiT) policy. We are confident that the provision of long-term and concessional financing to support the project with terms that are unavailable from commercial sources will have an important demonstration effect in attracting more investors to engage with Kenya’s vast solar opportunities”, said Amadou Hott, Vice-President of AfDB for Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth.
It is expected that the project will generate around 106 GWh per year and supply electricity to 600,000 households. It is also expected to save 1,081 kilo-ton equivalent of carbon dioxide in green house gas emissions annually. It will help achieve Kenya’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) for climate resilient growth.
Wale Shonibare, AfDB’s director for Energy Financial Solutions, Policy and Regulation said, “By providing access to quality energy at a cost below the current generation costs in Kenya, the Kopere project will diversify Kenya’s energy mix, and ultimately contribute to reduced dependence on fossil fuels.”
The bank is also in the process of securing a $11.6 million concessional loan from the Climate Investment Fund’s Scaling-up Renewable Energy Program (SREP).
The solar power project is owned by Voltalia, an international renewable energy company listed on the Paris Stock Exchange.
Africa has lately become the hotbed of renewable energy investments and AfDB has been on the forefront. Recently, AfDB also approved a senior loan of ZAR 3 billion (~$220.3 million) to the 100 MW Redstone concentrated solar power project. The project is located in the Humansrus Solar Park, in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa and is expected to generate 466 GWh/year.
Earlier, Mercom also reported that AfDB approved a $1.5-million grant from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) to support the Nigerian government’s implementation of Phase 1 of the Jigawa 1-GW Independent Power Producer (IPP) Solar Procurement Program.
Last year in December, AfDB approved $324 million (~₹20.84 billion) in loan for two renewable energy projects. The projects were being developed in Morocco and Côte d’Ivoire.
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Nitin is a staff reporter at Mercomindia.com and writes on renewable energy and related sectors. Prior to Mercom, Nitin has worked for CNN IBN, India News, Agricultural Spectrum and Bureaucracy Today. He received his bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Communication from Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University and Master’s degree in International Relations from Jindal School of International Affairs. More articles from Nitin Kabeer