Nyeri-based Kenya’s first mini solar-to-grid electricity generating station has announced a financial closure after successful fundraising that will provide all resources needed to link it to the Kenya Power distribution lines, according to Afrik21.
The family of Henry Maina Kanyua and his wife Faith Nzilani Maingi has teamed up with investor Marco Borero to form a special purpose vehicle (SPV) known as Marco Borero Company Limited which has raised approximately Sh180 million from Franch development agency’s Sunref through the Co-operative Bank of Kenya and a further Sh37.5 million in equity investment from the UK-funded Renewable Energy Performance Platform.
Afrik21 further reported that the 1.5 MWp facility will be built by the Indian company Astonfield Solar under an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract. The solar farm is expected to be commissioned by December 2020, according to the schedule set out in a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the state-owned Kenya Power (KPLC).
“Once operational, the solar power plant will contribute to Kenya’s NDC (nationally determined contributions) target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2030. The project will also contribute to local capacity building with the first promoter, who wants to develop a pipeline of renewable energy projects in the region,” explains REPP.
The Nyeri project is one of the many solar generation projects which are part of the Kenya government’s least-cost power development plan of 2017-2037.
Others are; Strathmore (0.25mw), Garissa (50mw), Kopere (40mw), Alten, Malindi, Selenkei (120mw), Quaint Energy, Kenergy (50mw), Eldosol (40mw), Makindu Dafre Rareh (30mw), Gitaru solar (40mw), Hanan, Greenmillenia, Kensen (90mw), Sayor, Izera, Solar joule (30mw), Belgen, Tarita Green Energy Elgeyo (80mw), Tarita Green Energy Isiolo, Kengreen (50mw) and Asachi, Astonfield Sosian, Sunpower (81mw), all expected to be delivered by the year 2024.
A statement from REPP said the new funds for Nyeri project marks a notable turnaround for the first-time developer, which previously had to put its plans on hold whilst it raised the final tranche of equity.
It noted that the fundraising process, which was required to complete the project’s financing package, was proving challenging due to the comparatively small size of both the project and the funding amount required.
Depending on how quickly the project is completed, the project may become the first privately owned solar plant to reach operation in Kenya, although a number of larger solar projects currently in construction are also vying for the title.
It is estimated that commercial operation will be achieved in approximately five months, ahead of the December longstop date established in the signed power purchase agreement.