• Kenya-based French solar firm Alten Africa has picked compatriot renewable energy firm Voltalia to build the solar plant in Eldoret.
  • Voltalia already started construction at the Uasin Gishu project last December.
  • The Kenyan government is targeting universal electricity access by 2020, up from 70 percent in 2017.

A French firm is set to construct a 40-megawatt (MW) solar plant that will benefit 824,000 Kenyans at Deputy President’s William Ruto backyard.

Kenya-based French solar firm Alten Africa has picked compatriot renewable energy firm Voltalia to build the solar plant in Eldoret.

The plant, located in Uasin Gishu, in the municipality of Eldoret, will have 40MW installed capacity, accounting for two percent of the country’s total capacity,” said Alten in a statement.

Solar Farm Solar Farm

“Once it goes into commercial operation, scheduled for March 2020, approximately 123.6GWh of clean electricity will be injected every year into the electric network, enough to meet the annual energy consumption needs of over 824,000 Kenyans,”

Alten said Voltalia already started construction at the Uasin Gishu project last December.

Alten Africa ratifies the choice of Voltalia to execute the EPC (engineering, procurement, construction) and O & M (operations, and plant maintenance) service for its new photovoltaic plant in Kenya,” said Alten.

A bird's view of Eldoret town A bird's view of Eldoret town

The firm says it has already informed electricity distributor Kenya Power of its choice of the French Voltalia to carry out the construction and operation and maintenance service on the plant.

The government targets universal electricity access by 2020, up from 70 percent in 2017. Alten had earlier in May 2018 inked a power purchase deal with Kenya Power for another 50-megawatt solar project located in Kopere, Nandi County.

This solar project is to be built on a land area of 100 hectares and will have over 161,000 monocrystalline panels set into solar single-axis trackers,” said Alten.

The two solar projects rival Rural Electrification Authority (REA) East Africa’s largest solar power plant being developed in northern Kenya.