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Kenya to host Africa’s first hybrid power plant

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Kenya will soon be home to Africa’s first hybrid power plant thanks to a deal signed in the just concluded 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7) in Yokohama, Japan.

The deal signed by Kenyan Investment Authority (KenInvest), Meru County Government in Kenya and global renewable energy developers Windlab and Eurus Energy will see construction of the project start in 2021.

The project which will be known as Meru County Energy Park will be a large-scale facility combining wind, solar PV and battery storage. It will involve 20 wind turbines and more than 40,000 solar panels.It is expected to power over 200,000 households.

Windlab is an Australian-based energy company that boasts developing the world’s first utility-scale hybrid renewable energy project, Kennedy Energy Park in Australia, while Eurus Energy is a Japanese firm.

“We are excited to bring world-leading innovation in the renewable energy sector and project development expertise to Meru County, Kenya,” said Windlab’s Global Chief Executive Roger Price.

His Eurus Energy counterpart Hideyuki Inazumi also hailed the historic venture.“Previous TICAD events have resulted in a number of highly successful Japanese-African ventures and we intend to use this opportunity to strengthen our commitment to working with Windlab on world-leading renewable energy projects across East Africa,” said Inazumi.

“The flagship Meru County Energy Project will be one of our first projects in the region.” MCIDC Acting Managing Director Samwel Odhiambo said the partnership would hasten benefits of the projects to residents.

“Signing the MoU here in Japan is a major milestone for the project. We are looking forward to hosting Africa’s first hybrid renewable energy facility in our county,” said Eng Odhiambo. KenInvest Managing Director Dr Moses Ikiara said the project would help shore up manufacturing in the country.

“As Kenya moves to implement the medium-term Big Four agenda, promotion of predictable and sustainable renewable energy is key to guarantee successful realisation of the manufacturing pillar,” said Ikiara.

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