The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), a Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) company alongside Standard Bank Group and Stanbic Bank Kenya, in partnership with Alten Kenya Solarfarms, has announced the start of operations for the 40 MW Kesses solar plant in Kenya.
This state-of-the-art facility is now providing clean and renewable power to thousands of people, contributing significantly to the attainment of SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy).
The plant has generated up to 400 employment opportunities during the construction phase and will create an additional 15 permanent positions for local employees during its operational phase.
The commissioning of the Kesses solar plant represents a significant milestone for EAIF, as it continues to support the development of green electricity generation across Africa.
With a growing focus on renewables and off-grid technologies, EAIF is edging closer to achieving a renewable generation capacity of 1,000 MW across its extensive portfolio.
Situated near Eldoret in Kenya’s Rift Valley Province, the US$87 million solar plant serves as a crucial power source for the region that boasts the highest population concentration in the area. Eldoret is recognized as a hub for local government, higher education, business and financial services, textile manufacturing, agribusiness, and sports tourism.
By supplying clean and renewable power to Eldoret and its neighboring communities, the Kesses solar facility is invigorating the local economy, resulting in a substantial boost in productivity.
All of the plant’s electricity output is seamlessly integrated into the national grid through a 20-year take-or-pay Power Purchase Agreement between Alten and Kenya Power and Lighting Company, the national energy utility.
Sine Zulu, Investment Specialist at Ninety One, the fund manager of the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund, expressed excitement over the operationalization of Kesses, highlighting Kenya’s prominent position as a global leader in renewable energy generation. Zulu emphasized the necessity for additional projects like Kesses to meet Africa’s growing energy demands while minimizing greenhouse gas emissions. The Kesses solar plant marks EAIF’s support for renewable energy initiatives in the ninth African country, affirming its role as a trusted lender for renewable energy companies investing in Africa.
Sherrill Byrne, Executive Energy and Infrastructure Finance at Standard Bank, emphasized their commitment to driving renewable energy growth in Africa, aligning with their sustainability objectives and commitments.
As a leading lender in the Kenyan Independent Power Producer (IPP) sector, Standard Bank was delighted to join forces with EAIF in successfully bringing the Kesses solar project to fruition.
It should be noted that Alten has been a longstanding client of Standard Bank, having previously supported their endeavours in Namibia.
Jorge Hernández Moro, Head of Asset Management at Alten, lauded Kenya as a global frontrunner in renewable energy generation, with over 80% of its electricity sourced from renewable sources.
Projects such as Kesses will play a pivotal role in achieving Kenya’s ambitious target of generating 100% clean energy by 2030, thereby supporting the nation’s economic progress and facilitating recovery from pandemic-induced losses, global supply chain disruptions, and rising inflation.
This concerted effort will contribute to a more sustainable and inclusive future for the entire region.