Kenya off-grid solar project aims to reach 700,000 households by 2020

Kenya off-grid solar project aims to reach 700,000 households by 2020The US$150 Million project will see 14 counties receive modern energy services through the mini-grid system. The project has also gotten an additional US$5 million from the Carbon Initiative for Development (Ci-Dev) donors.

Other than the mini-grids, other components of the project include solar home systems and cooking solutions for households, Standalone solar systems and solar pumping for community facilities and Implementation support and capacity building. Currently, there are 20 government-developed mini-grid stations owned by REA and managed by KPLC.

The project is expected to benefit 690,000 households by 2020 said The Energy Principal Secretary Engineer Joseph Njoroge.

“The beneficiaries are located in 14 counties considered marginalized by the Commission of Revenue Allocation and consists primarily of relatively cash-poor, remote and pastoralist communities. Accordingly, provision of infrastructure facilities, energy and water will have profound socio-economic impact on these communities,” Njoroge said.

Kenya currently has over 6.2 million customers connected to electricity.

“This project is part of a comprehensive sector engagement in Kenya spanning all areas of sector value chain. At the moment, our portfolio is about US$2 billion and about US$400 million in guarantees,” World Bank’s Practice Manager, Global Energy and Extractives Practice Africa Region Sudeshna Banerjee said.

Kenya aims to have universal access in another four years where 95 percent of its population will have access to electricity. It will join countries such as Algeria, Mauritius and the Seychelles, if it does achieve such a feat.