Ergon Solar Africa, a subsidiary of the American solar panel producer Ergon Solar, has received the green light from the Kenyan energy and oil regulator to start work on its Kisumu Solar One solar power plant, with an expected capacity of 40 megawatts.
In their statement, Lorenzo Colacicchi, founder of Ergon Solar and Alberto Soprani, Ergon’s Senior Vice President for Africa, said they were « grateful to the Kenyan government for approving this project. An initiative that, according to them, « will boost many investments and activities, thus making an important contribution to the sustainable development of the region ». Located in Kisumu County in south-western Kenya and covering 100 hectares, the future plant is expected to be commissioned in December 2023, according to Ergon Solar Africa, which will operate as an Independent Power Producers (IPP). This formula is increasingly popular on the continent, as it leaves it up to private operators to finance, build and manage energy production units in exchange for a negotiated remuneration. As such, the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) has already been made public, with the Kenyan government committing to purchase the electricity produced by Ergon at a rate of 7.94 shillings (7.5 US cents) per kilowatt-hour. The plant will be interconnected to the nearby town of Kibos. After the launch last July of the Turkana wind farm, the largest on the continent (310 megawatts) and the recent start-up of its fifth geothermal unit (Olkaria V, 160 megawatts), Kenya is thus further confirming its growing ambitions in renewable energies.