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African Development Bank Authorizes $18M for New Kenyan 40MWac Solar Project

December 2, 2018

According to Naoshige Kinoshita, Chief Investment Officer of the African Development Bank Group, the AfDB has given a green light for funding for the 40 MWac (50 MWp) Kopere Solar Power Project to be built in Kenya by French renewable energy company Voltalia.

The African Development Bank Group has approved a US $18.17 million senior loan to be used for the project.

The Bank is also in the process of securing a US $11.6 million concessional loan from the Climate Investment Fund’s Scaling-up Renewable Energy Program (SREP).

The Kopere project, which falls under Kenya’s Renewable Energy Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) policy, encompasses the design, construction and operation of a 40 MWac (50MWp) solar PV power project in Nandi County. The project also involves the construction of a 33/132 kV substation, and a 1.8 km T-line to evacuate the electricity to the national grid.

Commenting on the project, Amadou Hott, the Bank’s Vice-President for Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth said: “This project could potentially be Kenya’s first utility-scale solar PV project under the Feed in-Tariff (FiT) Policy. We are confident that the provision of long-term and concessional financing to support the project with terms that are unavailable from commercial sources will have an important demonstration effect in attracting more investors to engage with Kenya’s vast solar opportunities.”

The project is expected to generate around 106 GWh per year, and effectively supply electricity to approximately 600,000 people through the grid. It will also save 1,081 kt CO2eq in GHG emissions annually throughout the project operation.  “Kenya’s Vision 2030, and the ‘Big 4’ agenda ambitions come with a renewed urgency for affordable electricity, while pursuing a low carbon development pathway. By providing access to quality energy at a cost below the current generation costs in Kenya, the Kopere project will diversify Kenya’s energy mix, and ultimately contribute to reduced dependence on fossil fuels,” said Wale Shonibare,  the Bank’s Director for Energy Financial Solutions, Policy & Regulation.

The project is aligned with the Bank’s New Deal on Energy, the High Five priority to ‘Light up and Power Africa’, and the Bank’s country strategy for Kenya. It is also aligned with Kenya’s FiT policy, Vision 2030 Initiative, and with Kenya’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) for climate resilient growth.

The Kopere project will enhance energy access, infrastructure development, and private sector participation in the renewable energy sector while contributing to green growth, and job creation.  

Implementation of the project will commence in 2019.

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