Nyakwere Solar Project gets a big boost from Obama’s Power Africa energy planHoma-Bay-Asego
Quaint Energy Managing Director Alfred Achar and USTDA Director Leocadia Zak signing the grant agreement. Standing at the back from left to right; Kenya’s ambassador to the US, Robinson Githae, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed, Deputy President William Ruto and Power Africa coordinator Andrew Herscowitz.
During the U.S.-Africa Business Forum, held on September 21st, 2016 in New York on the sidelines of the UN General assembly, Nyakwere Solar project was among the Kenyan renewable energy projects that signed power deals with the U.S. Trade and Development Agency. At a ceremony witnessed by the Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya, the Honorable William Ruto, and Power Africa Coordinator Andrew Herscowitz, USTDA Director Leocadia I. Zak announced support for six projects that will identify U.S. solutions that can help increase access to affordable, reliable electricity across Kenya and help diversify the country’s energy mix.
Upon successful completion, the proposed solar power plant will add up to 1900 kilo watt hour of energy per year(enough to power up to 120,000 homes) to the national grid and also have a number of social, economic and environmental impacts, for local Homa Bay communities and for Kenya as a whole. The other benefits of this single largest investment in Homa Bay Country totaling close to ksh 10 billion includes but not limited to:
- Increased local employment, both temporary and long term;
- 400-700 people at the peak during a construction period of 8 – 12 months
- About 30 permanent jobs during operation for 20-25 years.
- Potential tourist attraction; This project is situated next to the Sondu Miriu hydro power plant, and will be one of its kind in the world due to the fact that two renewable energy technologies (solar and hydro) will be right next to each other. This will make the site a great tourist attraction and education site for Kenyan schools and renewable energy conferences in the country.
- Homa Bay County currently only has a 3.3% electricity penetration rate, compared to the Kenya national average of 30%. Kerosene usage is at 94% in Homa Bay County, the highest kerosene penetration in the Kenya. Electricity supply for the few that have access is intermittent and unstable. There is an obviously high demand for stable power in Homa Bay County, and this project will dramatically provide the stable power demand.
- The environmental benefits includes reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the Kenyan grid of 1,335,579 tons cumulative value of 25 years.
The deal for the 40 MW solar PV power plant at Nyakwere Hills was signed between USTDA Director and Quaint Energy Kenya Managing Director Alfred Achar.