Kenya’s Rural Electrification Authority (REA), a State-owned agency that will build the solar power plant, said the 128 million U.S. dollar plant will produce enough power to light up 625,000 homes.
“The 50MW photovoltaic cells (PV) solar farm will be financed through concessional funding from the government of China,” REA said in a statement sent to Xinhua in Nairobi.
The agency said the construction will begin in July and will take one year to complete, upon which the station will pump more power to the national grid.
The statement said the agency will set up 210, 210 solar panels of 260 Watts each, thus reducing carbon emissions by an estimated 43,000 metric tons per year.
Upon completion, the solar plant will be the biggest in the East and Central Africa and is expected to create an estimated 1,000 jobs. It will also have a huge impact in the socioeconomic status in the northern Kenya.
The solar power plant project, which was first announced in 2012, will be on a 200-acre plant.
The project came at a time when Kenya is aggressively seeking alternative power sources to supplement unreliable hydro-power and expensive diesel-generated thermal power.
In 2012, the Chinese photovoltaic (PV) manufacturer JinkoSolar Holdings announced that it had signed a deal with China Jiangxi Corporation for International Economic & Technical Cooperation Ltd (CJIC) to supply photovoltaic modules for the project.
Zhang Jian, Managing Director of CJIC Kenya, said the company will move to the site once the necessary clearance has been obtained from the relevant government authorities.
“The project will begin immediately when we get clearance. It’s a clean energy project that is expected to contribute towards climate change reduction in Kenya,” Zhang told Xinhua.
Zhang said CJIC was pleased to be a part of Kenya’s push towards clean-tech development and commitment to renewable energy, which will benefit thousands of Kenyans living in northeastern region.
“The project will benefit the local residents who are living in northeastern Kenya by improving their living standards as well as regional economies,” Zhang said. Enditem