NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 15 – Kenya Power has signed power purchase agreements with four local generators for the uptake of 20.8MW additional power capacity from renewable energy sources.
Signed in 20-year arrangements under feed-in tariff policy that aims at encouraging investments in renewable energy projects, the power utility will draw the extra capacity from biomass, solar, mini-hydro and windmicro-plants located in Kwale, Nairobi, Kajiado and Meru.
In the agreements, Kwale International Sugar Company in Coast Region will provide 10MW to Kenya Power from its biomass-fired power plant at Ramisi, Kwale County while Ol-Ndanyat Power Limited will provide 10MW from their wind power plant at Kona Baridi in Kajiado County.
Kenya Power Managing Director Ben Chumo, said such renewable sources of energy will progressively reduce overreliance of fossil fuel which, in turn, will further reduce the cost of electricity to customers and the economy at large.
In addition, a solar power plant that will be developed by Strathmore University will provide 0.25MW capacity and Mt. Kenya Community Based Organisation will provide 0.6MW from their mini hydro power generation plant at Ntonani Falls in Meru County.
“These agreements for a total of 20.82 MW lay the necessary framework for Kenya Power to increase its total installed generation capacity which currently stands at 2,298 MW,”Chumo added.
Chumo highlighted the company’s power generation expansion programme for 5000MW of additional capacity within the next five years as envisioned by the government.
“The feed-in tariff policy provides competitive power purchase price base rates starting from USD 0.11 per kilowatt hour for wind sources; USD 0.1 per kilowatt hour for biomass; USD 0.12 per kilowatt hour for solar and USD 0.0825 per kilowatt hour for mini hydro sources,” he said.
He said that the additional 5,000MW aims at reducing the cost of power by 40 percent even as the company continues to accelerate connectivity throughout the country.
“Kenya Power has so far connected over 4 million customers to the national grid and aims to connect an additional1 million new customers in the current financial year. This is in tandem with the government’s plan to increase population access to electricity to more than 70% by 2017 and universal access by 2020,”he added.