An American company will construct a 6.4 billion shillings solar power plant in Kisumu, President Uhuru Kenyatta said.
Ergon Solair Africa Limited, a solar developer and a subsidiary of Ergon Solair PBC USA, will construct the 40-megawatt system on a 249-hectare site in Kibos.
Mr Kenyatta said the project has received all the necessary permits from the government.
“I am pleased to announce that Solar One Limited’s proposed facility in Kibos has received all government approvals and project implementation can now begin immediately,” he said.
The president said the move aims to bring clean and affordable energy to residents while creating jobs for the youth.
The project is part of ongoing energy sector reforms that will position Kenya as a world leader in the production of green and affordable energy.
The power plant, which will provide green energy to the western region, received approval from the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory to generate and sell electricity in 2020.
The US company had announced that it would be ready for commissioning in December 2023, with a power purchase agreement to be negotiated.
“We have come to an agreement with Solar One that Kenya can no longer afford these high costs and that some of our electricity producers will continue to charge us high tariffs.
“Kenya needs a reduction in energy costs if we are to improve our competitiveness and ultimately be able to create employment opportunities for our young people,” Mr Kenyatta said.
The head of state was speaking in Kisumu during the commissioning of the shipyard and the launching of the wagon ferry MV Uhuru II on Tuesday afternoon.
The ferry is the first ship to be built locally in the port by the Kenyan Navy in collaboration with Damen Gorinchem, a Dutch shipbuilding and engineering company.
The ship will have a deadweight tonnage of 1,800 tonnes, which is 540 tonnes more than the refurbished MJV Uhuru I, according to the Kenya Ports Authority, and can export goods to Uganda within 12 hours.
MV Uhuru II has a capacity of up to 22 cars and an estimated capacity of two million liters of crude oil will be commissioned later this year, according to President Uhuru Kenyatta.