Gov’t to construct 25 mini solar plants North Eastern, Rift Valley

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The government plans to construct 25 mini solar plants in parts of North Eastern and Rift Valley to increase electricity access for those in far flung areas.

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Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter says the solar plants will help reduce by seven times the retail cost of electricity from the current about 35 US cents to five cents per kilowatt hour.

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Dry weather patterns experienced late last year and early this year adversely affected electricity generation from cheap hydro sources forcing generators to opt for the expensive diesel generators.

The government is seeking to leverage on renewable energy to cushion Kenyans against the high power costs by constructing mini solar-plants especially in far flung areas.

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The Rural Electrification Authority is currently constructing 25 solar mini-grids to power in small towns in off grid areas such as Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Marsabit and Turkana.

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This is in addition to the already commissioned four solar mini-grids, which are expected to reduce the retail cost of electricity from the current 35 cents per kilowatt hour to five cents per kilowatt hour.

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The 13 billion shillings Garissa solar plant will be officially launched in September this year and is expected to inject an additional 54 megawatts of power to the national grid, which is enough to serve about 200,000 households.

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