Kenya Wants To Retrofit Diesel Mini Grids With RE

Kenya Wants To Retrofit Diesel Mini Grids With RE

Pictured is the map that shows the location of the 23 sites of existing diesel power stations which need to be retrofitted with solar or wind energy technology in Kenya. (Source: KPLC)

Kenya's electric utility Kenya Power & Lighting Company Plc. (KPLC) has issued a specific procurement notice to retrofit 23 diesel mini grids in the country with solar PV or wind energy. The pre-qualification round has sought applications to be submitted by eligible and interested candidates.

Broad scope of work requires the successful candidates to supply, install and commission either solar PV or wind energy components to diesel mini grids under category A with the 2 diesel stations identified as 540 KVA in Dadaab (wind-solar) and 640 KVA in Maikona (wind).

Under category B the retrofit should be done with solar PV only for 21 locations with existing diesel capacity of the station ranging between 2,320 KVA and 50 KVA.

Part of proceeds that KPLC has secured as credit from the French Development Agency Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) towards the cost of the Retrofitting of Diesel Mini Grids with Renewable Energy in Kenya, will be applied for eligible payments under the project.

Last date to submit applications is March 2, 2021. Detailed tender document is available on KPLC website.

In March 2020, US based Renewvia Energy and Singapore's Dream Project Incubators set up a special purpose entity to deploy thousands of solar microgrids in Kenya and Nigeria (see Solar Microgrid Partnership Launched For Kenya & Nigeria).

EOI for captive solar plants

In January 2021, KPLC launched an expression of interest (EOI) from eligible firms to finance, develop and operate captive solar power generation plants on equipment leasing basis for the utility's commercial and industrial (C&I) consumers. Project capacities will be between 500 kW and 10 MW. It plans to issue request for proposal (RFP) documents to companies shortlisted in the EOI round.

For these projects KPLC will act as the project developer and liaise with interested C&I customers who can provide rooftop space or ground space for solar PV installations. It will then bring in the private sector investor selected competitively to develop and operate the grid tied captive solar plant along with storage component. KPLC will take all the power generated and distribute excess to other customers.

This method, explains KPLC, will benefit end consumers in terms of cheaper power that's available all the time saving business consumers from power supply interruptions. At the same time, it will enable KPLC to save on distribution losses while also contributing to the de-carbonization of the national energy mix and facilitate the achievement of climate resilience objectives of Kenya's National Adaptation Plan 2015-2030, it explained.

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