Spanish independent power producer, Alten Energías Renovables has reached the financial closure for its Kesses solar power plant near Eldoret in western Kenya. The solar project is majorly supported by loans from Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) and South African Standard Bank Group.
EAIF will be providing a loan of $35 million to Alten for the $87 million solar generation facility. The Standard Bank has arranged a $41 million amount in debt including a term loan, a value-added tax, and a debt service reserve facility.
The Standard Bank will provide its financing for the project through CIB Bank and Stanbic Bank Kenya Limited. The loan provided by EAIF will be repaid over a 15-years period by the project developer Alten Kenya Solar farms, the subsidiary of Alten Energías Renovables.
The Spanish IPP started the construction of the solar project in 2013, with the procurement of 10 hectares of land. The initial power generation capacity of the Kesses solar PV plant will be 40 MW. The plant is expected to produce 123 GWh of electricity per year, equivalent to the electricity needs of nearly 2.5 lakh of Kenyan households.
Post completion of the plant’s construction, the commissioning of the solar project is expected in 2023. Alten will sell the generated electricity to the national energy utility ‘Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC), under a 20-year power purchase agreement. The plant’s output will be connected to a pre-existing 230 kV transmission line between the 56 MW Turkwel hydroelectric plant and the Lessos substation.
Sine Zulu, an Investment Specialist at EAIF’s investment managers, Ninety One, said the project will bring multiple benefits to economic development in Kenya. It will play a major role in contributing to the country’s commitment to net-zero carbon emissions and combating climate changes.
Sherrill Byrne, Energy & Infrastructure Executive at Standard Bank South Africa said that the bank will continue to support the use of renewable energy across Africa, allowing for a more sustainable future for the continent. He also mentioned the Kesses solar plant as the second project that the Standard Bank has funded with the Alten Group.
Alten is also developing a similar project named Kesses-2 in the same region, with an expected capacity of 55 MWp. This solar farm will be connected to a 132 kV transmission line, which serves the city of Eldoret. According to the company, this second project is currently under discussion with KPLC.