Power Africa in Kenya

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Power Africa has supported the development of 779 megawatts (MW) of electricity generation projects in Kenya. In addition, various firms have received U.S. Embassy support to move transactions forward. The page below gives an overview of the energy sector in Kenya, explains Power Africa's involvement and lists Power Africa’s financially closed transactions in the country, some of which are already online and generating critical electricity supply for the people of Kenya.

A solar array powering a mini-grid serving more than 300 households in Kisii County, Kenya.
A solar array powering a mini-grid serving more than 300 households in Kisii County, Kenya.
Power Africa

KENYA ENERGY SECTOR OVERVIEW


Population (1): 47.5 million (based on August, 2019 Kenyan census data)
WB Ease of Doing Business Index (2): 56 | GDP (3): $87.9 billion

Kenya has one of the most developed power sectors in sub-Saharan Africa, having opened its market to Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in the mid-1990s. Kenya benefits from factors including: an active private sector; Kenya Power’s long track record as a creditworthy off-taker; and abundant renewable energy resources, especially geothermal, wind and solar. Limited and aging distribution infrastructure, high technical and commercial losses, opaque procurement processes, right of way disputes, PPA inconsistencies, and other challenges affect sector growth. A lower-than-forecasted demand growth has also forced the sector to scale down on approval of new generation capacity. Power Africa activities in Kenya are guided by a cooperation framework. The current Power Africa-Government of Kenya Cooperation Framework was signed in June 2018, to cover the 2018-2023 implementation period.

GENERATION CAPACITY

  • Total Installed Capacity (4): 2,819 MW

    • Hydro: 826 MW
    • Geothermal: 828 MW
    • Thermal (MSD & GT): 749 MW
    • Wind: 331 MW
    • Solar: 51 MW
    • Biomass: 28 MW

Power Africa new MW to date at financial close: 779 MW

CONNECTIONS

  • Current Access Rate (5): 75%
    • Urban: 100%
    • Rural: 65.7%
  • Power Africa new connections: 4,828,397
 

Power Africa pipeline: For the most up to date information, DOWNLOAD the Power Africa Tracking Tool (PATT)

 

POWER AFRICA SUCCESS STORIES IN KENYA


Celebrating Clean Power in Kenya: The Kipeto Wind Farm

Alongside USAID Kenya and partners such as Actis, African Trade Insurance Agency, and BTE Renewables (formerly BioTherm Energy), Power Africa supported the Kipeto Wind Farm in Kenya. Comprising of 60 wind turbines supplied by Power Africa partner General Electric, Kipeto will generate 100 megawatts (MW) of clean electricity to power approximately 250,000 Kenyan households. The Kipeto Wind Farm’s journey from concept to LightsOn demonstrates the breadth of Power Africa support, and showcases the incredible achievements made possible through public-private partnership. READ more on our blog


Developing COVID-19 Return-To-Work Strategies

Power Africa helped KenGen create an official COVID-19 return-to-work strategy for the utility’s more than 2,500 employees. READ more on our blog.


Strengthening utility operational efficiency through data analytics

Mwangi Chege, electrical engineer, describes how Kenya Power is using data analytics to improve performance, and shares his experience working with the Power Africa team.

READ his Q&A on our blog

 

 

 

 

POWER AFRICA FINANCIALLY CLOSED TRANSACTIONS IN KENYA


Updated: October 21, 2019

Cummins Baringo (Biomass – 8.4MW)

Financial Close Date: 03/31/2014
Commercial Operations Date: TBD
Estimated Project Cost: $30M
Overview: Power Africa supported Cummins Cogeneration Limited (CCL) to move the Baringo project forward with US Government assistance provided through the U.S. Africa Clean Energy Finance Initiative (ACEF), a collaboration between Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and the U.S. Department of State.  CCL and co-developer Gentec Energy estimates the plant will employ 2,500 locals, many of them women, and that it will operate for 20 years. An invasive weed known as methenge is a menace to residents of Baringo County, suppressing other forms of vegetation and greatly reducing grazing areas for livestock. The project seeks to turn this weed into biomass-based power generation and create positive socio-economic impacts in the community.


Garden City Mall Solar System (Solar Micro-Grid - .86MW)

Financial Close Date: 06/01/2016
Commercial Operations Date: TBD
Estimated Project Cost: $1.9M
Overview: The 858-kilowatt Garden City Mall Solar System is integrated into a rooftop carpark of a 33,000 square meter mall, providing clean energy to the mall and surrounding mixed-use buildings.  It is one of the largest rooftop solar projects in East Africa. The United States Government provided funding through USAID’s Global Development Alliance Investment Fund. The Crossboundary Investment Fund financed construction and pays for ongoing maintenance in exchange for a long-term commitment from businesses purchasing the power. In addition to powering the mall, the installation will offset around 18,750 tons of carbon over the lifetime of the system.


KenGen Olkaria V (Geothermal – 158MW)

Financial Close Date: 1/12/2017
Commercial Operations Date: 5/31/2019
Estimated Project Cost: $490M
Overview: In 2016, Power Africa and Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) concluded a Cooperation Framework, which established a strategic partnership towards advancing Kenya’s energy goals. To this Cooperation Framework, Power Africa assisted KenGen in optimizing reservoir productivity across the entire Olkaria field. To help finance this deal, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, a Power Africa Partner, signed a loan agreement with the Government of the Republic of Kenya.


Kipeto (Wind – 100MW)

Financial Close Date: 12/18/2018
Commercial Operations Date: 04/09/2020
Estimated Project Cost: $320M
Overview: The energy generated from Kipeto, the second largest wind farm in Kenya, will be sold exclusively to the national offtaker under a 20-year power purchase agreement.  The project is funded by equity from Actis and a Kenyan company, Craftskills Wind Energy International, alongside $233 million in debt financing from Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the US Government’s development finance institution.  Overseas Private Investment Corporation has also committed $50 million in re-insurance while the African Trade Insurance Agency is providing a standalone guarantee. A U.S. company will provide the 60 wind turbines required for the project, which also consists of underground cables to a substation, and a 220 kV overhead transmission line.  Power Africa conducted a Biodiversity Action Plan to mitigate possible impacts of wind turbines on endangered raptors at the site. Power Africa’s partner, Actis, undertook extensive community engagement efforts including the development of a Community Development Framework and the creation of a Community Trust. As one of the first wind Independent Power Producers in Kenya, Kipeto paves the way for future private investment in Kenya’s nascent wind energy sector.


Lake Turkana (Wind – 310MW)

Financial Close Date: 12/17/2014
Commercial Operations Date: 9/29/2017
Estimated Project Cost: $1,095M
Overview: Lake Turkana Wind Power Project will provide up to 310 MW of wind power to the Kenya national grid and is one of the biggest investments ever made in Kenya. Power Africa partner Aldwych co-developed the project with other private sector actors. Power Africa has supported this project through multiple agencies: USAID is creating an enabling environment for renewable power in Kenya by supporting a Grid Management program to help Kenya with grid management of intermittent renewables; Power Africa partners Standard Bank of South Africa, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Nedbank committed financing and insurance; and US Treasury Department also supported the African Development Bank Project Risk Guarantee for the associated transmission line.

Malindi Solar (Solar - 40MW)

Financial Close Date: 05/31/2019


Sources

  1. https://www.knbs.or.ke/?p=5621(Kenyan census data as of August 2019)
  2. https://www.doingbusiness.org/en/rankings
  3. https://data.worldbank.org/country/kenya
  4. https://www.africa-energy.com/database/datatool
  5. https://www.iea.org/reports/sdg7-data-and-projections/access-to-electricity

Related Links

Last updated: July 13, 2021

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