Renewvia Energy and Okapi Green Launch Joint Venture to Deploy Solar Mini-Grid in Kenya’s Refugee Camp


Renewvia Energy, a US-based solar developer, has partnered with Okapi Green Energy Ltd in Kenya to launch a joint venture to provide clean and affordable electricity for the community of one of the largest refugee camps in the country. The partnership will create, design, finance, install, and operate an innovative solar mini-grid system in the Kakuma Refugee Camp.


The joint venture named OkRene Energy is a first-of-its-kind initiative in the country that will deliver clean electricity through a financially sustainable model to the communities residing in the refugee camp. OkRene Energy has obtained an exclusive 20-year federal provision licence for the power generation and supply. 


Renewvia will provide funding along with its solar power development expertise to ensure the successful delivery of service. Okapi Green will be responsible for the mini-grid system’s operation & maintenance, as well as the training & skills development of local workers to support the grid.


The Kakuma Refugee Camp, located in Turkana County, is divided into four parts (I-IV). The initial phase of the project will see the development and expansion of the solar mini-grid that will serve 15,000 people of the Kakuma III section of the camp, where the installed capacity of the grid will be increased over time.

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Over 19 nationalities are living in the Kakuma Refugee Camp, where the majority of the population is from South Sudan. The development of a solar mini-grid will benefit the houses, micro & small businesses, schools, and social institutions in the camp.

Vasco Hamisi, CEO Okapi Green Ltd., said the majority of the community in the refugee camp rely on expensive and unstable power sources. The first phase of the project saw us initiate a step towards change, by connecting 1% of the residents of around 200,000.  Providing energy access to clean energy for residents of the camp is a critical enabler for basic and essential services, establishing socio-economic development for them.

Trey Jarrard, CEO of Renewvia, said that working with a skilled local partner such as Okapi in displaced communities, exponentially increases their chances of success for scalable power projects in Kenya. Renewvia will further expand their relationship with Okapi Energy to replicate these type of solar mini-grid projects in other displaced settlements and camps located within the country.

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