REREC has built the largest solar power plant in East and Central Africa

The plant is just one of many multi-billion shillings projects the corporation under the leadership of Board Chairman Prof. Simon Gicharu and MD Peter Mbugua is rolling out across the country especially in the once ‘neglected’ areas of rural Kenya

By The Weekly Vision Online

Millions of Kenyans hungry for reliable and sustainable electricity supplies may not be aware of the fact that the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation (REREC) had by mid this year constructed a multi-billion shillings Solar power plant in Garissa County.

The plant is just one of many multi-billion shillings projects the corporation under the leadership of Board Chairman Prof. Simen Gicharu and MD Peter Mbugua is rolling out across the country especially in the once ‘neglected’ areas of rural Kenya. According to REREC records, the project in Garissa is the largest solar energy production plant on the African continent, with a capacity of producing more than 50 Mega Watts (MWs) of power which is then fed directly to the national power grid for distribution.

REREC MD Peter Mbugua

It is also significant to note that the project was initiated and commissioned in an area of the country which over the decades had been known to be off-grid meaning residents in the vast Northern Frontier counties did not enjoy access to a reliable power supply. However, for the last five years, the areas have witnessed a total reversal of the old trend due to the many electricity production projects orchestrated, engineered and executed by REREC in collaboration with the international, national and regional development partners.

The 50 Mega Watts (MW) electricity generation project in Garissa County is a brainchild of REREC which cost the corporation US$ 135.7 equivalent to more than Ksh. 13.7 billion. The plant is the first and the only one of its kind in East, Central and Southern Africa. According to the REREC website, the financing for the project was by the Exim Bank of China while construction works were awarded to yet another Chinese company known as China Jiangsi which completed the plant handing it over for commissioning by the end of last year.

REREC MD Peter Mbugua said that though the Garissa Solar project is the largest and most ambitious REREC has ever initiated, they are initiating many other smaller solar, wind and generator power project in many parts of the country, from the Kenya-Uganda border in the West to the Indian Ocean at the Coast

The communities from Garissa will now have easy access to affordable power, so will the neighbouring counties of Mandera, Wajir, Turkana and West Pokot most of whom had never seen or enjoyed the benefits of electricity in their entire lifetimes. The REREC Chief Executive Officer, Peter Mbugua said that apart from electricity production, they have also supplied power to schools, health facilities and fully equipped them with the necessary tools to serve residents. They also handed over completed ultra-modern water boreholes for both animal and human consumption.

Board Chairman Prof. Simon Gicharu

These are projects that are located in areas of the country which are mostly arid most of the year and without water or electricity supplies, yet enjoys the sunshine all year round. Mr Mbugua said that though the Garissa Solar project is the largest and most ambitious REREC has ever initiated, they are initiating many other smaller solar, wind and generator power project in many parts of the country, from the Kenya-Uganda border in the West to the Indian Ocean at the Coast.

These also include multi-billion shillings projects to spread electricity to millions of households, market and trading centres, public and private institutions that had over the decades been considered off-grid. The REREC board chairman Prof. Simon Gicharu said that one of the corporations’ main national projects is the connection of power to public facilities, and this has been done and will continue to be done.

Hundreds of public primary schools across the country, mostly in rural Kenya have for decades only dreamed of electricity connections but that is being turned around through this project as it impacts positively on homes and in market centres across the country. The mainstream media in the country seem to have failed to capture this big story adequately. The Chairman said REREC had also established Energy Centres across the country, Kenyans now know the true value and how they can change their lives.

There’s no story that cannot be told. We cover the stories that others don’t want to be told, we bring you all the news you need. If you have tips, exposes or any story you need to be told bluntly and all queries write to us [email protected] also find us on twitter.

error: Content is protected !!
Open chat
1
Hello, how can we help you?