European banks to finance two new PV projects in Kenya

Radiant and Eldosol

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Netherlands’ Entrepreneurial Development Bank (FMO) have agreed to finance the construction and operation of two new solar photovoltaic projects – Radiant and Eldosol – in Kenya.

Together, EIB and FMO contributed $43 million for both projects, which have a total cost of $147 million. The remaining amount will be provided by the project’s promotors Frontier Energy, the DL Group, and Paramount Bank.

Supply from alternative sources

The Radiant and Eldosol projects are among the first to generate utility-scale solar energy in East Africa. Their commissioning will contribute to diversify electricity supplies in Kenya.

In this sense, they present a new alternative to fossil fuels and rain-dependent hydroelectric generation. This way, they will contribute to improve grid stability in Western Kenya and address the demand growth expected for the coming years.

“As world leaders meet in New York to discuss future plans to save our planet, Kenya with EU support, is leading the way with visionary climate action. These two new solar schemes funded by the European Investment Bank, Dutch Development Bank FMO and Frontier Energy from Denmark will provide clean energy for Kenya and demonstrate direct benefits of the close partnership between Kenya and the European Union.” said European Union Ambassador, Simon Mordue.

Renewable energies for development

The authorities responsible for this initiative stressed that the attainment of the necessary funds to finance the two solar projects, by means of the commercial loans based on the project’s income, shows the investment’s strong potential for the future of renewable energies development by the private sector in East Africa.

“Expanding renewable energy is crucial to enable all Kenyans to access electricity. The European Investment Bank is pleased to support the Radiant and Eldosol solar projects and build on our track record of supporting expansion of wind, geothermal and solar power across Africa and around the world,” said Catherine Collin, European Investment Bank Regional Representative for East Africa.

She highlighted that the successful financial close of this project demonstrates the close cooperation of government, development partners and private sector investment and our shared goal of supporting national electrification. The Radiant and Eldosol solar projects demonstrate how visionary energy investment can accelerate social, economic and human development and show how Kenya is taking advantage of its rich renewable resources as a global leader in clean power generation.”

The fight against climate change

Linda Broekhuizen, Chief Investment Officer at FMO said: “We are very pleased to have reached this milestone and to see that construction is now well underway. Both projects will increase the much-needed electricity generation capacity in Western Kenya and improve the region’s access to reliable energy.”

She added that, being 100% green, the projects also fully align with the strategic goal to take climate action. In this sense, it further supports the transition to a low-carbon system in Kenya. “With these transactions we further solidify our successful partnership with EIB and Frontier Energy and we are looking forward to continue building on that going forward.”

The Kenyan government’s national electrification strategy is aimed at expanding access to electricity for all citizens by 2022. This includes enabling support from development partners and private sector investment to extend electricity networks and use of on and off grid solar standalone solar systems.

The new Radiant and Eldosol solar plants are being built close to Eldoret, 300 kilometers from northwest from Nairobi. The two adjacent facilities will have 300,000 solar panels to harness the maximum amount of solar energy and will be connected to Kenya’s national grid.

For more information, check Energía16

See also: “Antisolar” panel produces energy from darkness

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