President Uhuru Kenyatta witnessed the operationalization of Kisumu Shipyard. [Photo/ PSCU]
President Uhuru Kenyatta witnessed the operationalization of Kisumu Shipyard on August 2, 2022. [Photo/ PSCU]

Construction is expected to commence on a Ksh6.4 Billion solar power plant in Kisumu County. This is after President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is set to leave office, confirmed that the American firm to build it had received the requisite approvals from the State.

“I am pleased to announce to you that the proposed Solar One Limited plant at Kibos has received all government approvals and the project implementation can now commence immediately,” Uhuru stated in the lakeside city on Tuesday, August 2. He spoke during commissioning of the Kisumu shipyard and the launch of the MV Uhuru II wagon ferry.

The 40 megawatt (MW) plant will sit on a 249-acre land parcel in Kibos. It will be developed by Ergon Solair Africa Limited, an affiliate of Ergon Solair PBC USA.

The project is in line with Kenya’s push to adopt clean energy solutions as well as ongoing reforms in the power sector. The President maintained that the solar plant would help drive down power costs for consumers. The company had stated that the plant would be ready for commissioning in December 2023.

The US company had received approval from the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory (EPRA) to generate and sell electricity in 2020 .

Uhuru referenced the flawed power purchase deals signed with Independent Power Producers (IPPs) which have been blamed for the high cost of power. Uhuru expressed confidence that the power purchase agreement to be signed with Ergon Solair would represent a more clean and affordable option.

“We have agreed with those from Solar One that Kenya can no longer afford to pay this high cost, and high tariffs some of our producers of electricity continue to demand from us.

“Kenya must have a reduction in the cost of energy if we are to improve our competitiveness and ultimate position to create opportunities of employment for our young people,” the President stated.

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