Construction of the first hybrid power plant in Africa has commenced. Windlab’s global CEO Mr Roger Price confirmed the report and said the project will be developed to international standards.
Situated in Meru County in Kenya, the hybrid project dubbed ‘the Meru County Energy Park’ will be a large-scale facility that combines wind, solar PV and battery storage. The facility will feature up to 20 wind turbines and more than 40,000 solar panels.
Public-private partnership agreement
The project is a public-private partnership. The Meru County Government, through the Meru County Investment and Development Corporation (MCIDC) will own part of the project once it is operational and Windlab will own the other portion of the project. The deal also includes capacity building and knowledge transfer efforts.
Upon completion, the plant is expected to produce a total of 80MW of power. Additionally, the Government has already set up a US $47m kitty in partnership with the World Bank to fast-track the uptake of viable solar and clean cooking solutions.
“As Kenya moves to implement the medium-term Big Four agenda, promotion of predictable and sustainable renewable energy is key to guarantee successful realization of the manufacturing pillar. The project would help shore up manufacturing in the country,” said Mr Roger Price.
“We are excited to bring world-leading innovation in the renewable energy sector and project development expertise to Meru County, Kenya. The partnership would hasten benefits of the projects to residents,” the CEO added.
Over 70% of Kenya’s electricity is generated from renewable clean energy sources. Of these, geothermal remains the most significant source as the country focuses on increasing geothermal capacity and weaning off thermal sources.