The Radiant and Eldosol solar projects will generate enough clean electricity to power more than 300,000 homes
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Dutch development bank FMO have agreed to provide financing for the construction and operation of two solar photovoltaic (PV) parks with a combined capacity of 80MW in Kenya.
The lenders EIB and FMO will provide $53m (£43m) each for the new Radiant and Eldosol projects. The remaining project cost of $147m (£118m) will be granted by the project promoters Frontier Energy, David Langat, who is the chairman of the DL Group of companies, and Ayaz Merali, the managing director of Kenya’s Paramount Bank.
Radiant and Eldosol solar projects will be located at adjacent sites near Eldoret
To be built close to Eldoret, 300km north-west of Nairobi, the two solar plants to be located at adjacent sites, will use 300,000 panels and will be linked to the Kenyan national energy grid.
European Investment Bank regional representative for East Africa Catherine Collin said: “The European Investment Bank is pleased to support the Radiant and Eldosol solar projects and build on our track record of supporting expansion of wind, geothermal and solar power across Africa and around the world.
“Successful financial close of this project demonstrates the close cooperation of government, development partners and private sector investment and our shared goal of supporting national electrification.
“The Radiant and Eldosol solar projects demonstrate how visionary energy investment can accelerate social, economic and human development and show how Kenya is taking advantage of its rich renewable resources as a global leader in clean power generation.”
The two solar projects will generate enough clean electricity to power over 300,000 homes. They are said to be amongst the first to generate utility-scale solar power in East Africa.
The projects will help in diversifying Kenya’s electricity supply away from both rain-dependent hydro and fossil fuels. In addition, the solar projects are expected to contribute to improving grid stability in Western Kenya.
Through its national electrification strategy, the Kenyan government aims to expand access to electricity to all citizens by 2022. The strategy includes enabling support from development partners and private sector investment to extend electricity networks and use of on and off grid solar standalone solar systems.