, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 11- Kenya is expected to receive over two million high-quality home solar systems from SkyPower, a global developer and owner of utility-scale solar energy projects.
The solar systems will be distributed to households, schools and health clinics across the country.
This initiative is the largest known program of its kind in the world and was announced by SkyPower and the Kenyan Government in July this year during the 6th annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit which was held in Nairobi.
“Our partnership and alignment is with Plan International, who will manage and oversee a proven method of distribution, backed by over 75 years of experience, and in total alignment with SkyPower and the Kenyan Government’s goal of energizing homes around Kenya by providing them with access to safe, affordable and reliable solar electricity,” SkyPower CEO, Commercial Strategy and Development, Charles Cohen said during this year’s United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, COP21 in Paris France.
Plan International, which works in partnership with 51 countries and 21 donors, will help to design a proper strategy with strict controls and accountability to ensure these solar power systems reach the families and healthcare providers, the intended recipients.
The solar systems initiative forms part of the landmark agreement between Kenya’s Ministry of Energy and Petroleum and SkyPower to develop, build, own and operate 2 gigawatt (GW) of world-class, utility-scale solar projects across Kenya, which will be built over the next five years.
“Kenya is so very proud to work with SkyPower and its partners to ensure the timely and effectively targeted distribution of the 2 million SkyPower Home solar kits, a world’s first,” President Uhuru Kenyatta said at the beginning of the forum. “It is a comprehensive plan that is reflective of the commitment of our government to address energy deficiency and climate change, in our unwavering efforts to ensure the brightest and most prosperous future for all Kenyans.”
Each SkyPower Home solar system will have a solar panel, LED bulbs, USB charging capabilities for charging cell phones and other handheld electronic devices and a solar-powered radio, and is designed to operate in extreme conditions. Each solar system is backed by a comprehensive warranty, which will include an in-community hot-swap program.
The SkyPower Home solar kits are expected to narrow the energy deficiency gap in carefully targeted communities, making impactful change to the areas of education, maternal health, safety and job creation in each community.
“Plan International is proud to announce this landmark partnership with SkyPower, in Kenya. Plan has worked in Kenya for over 33 years, and this project will offer a truly transformative contribution towards ensuring the safe delivery of infants, that boys and girls succeed in school, women and girls are more protected and climate change is addressed,” said Marie Staunton, Plan International Canada’s interim President and CEO as John Kerry, US Secretary of State, stated at COP21, “it is possible to do well and do good.”
To ensure the project is sustainable and fully integrated into each community, these solar systems will be distributed through selected local primary schools.
A percentage of the solar systems will also be provided to local primary health care centres that could truly benefit from access to electricity, and to community health workers who bring vital health services directly into homes and schools currently lacking access to electricity.
The COP21 forum which ends on December 11, began on November 30, 2015.