EnDev and Barclays Bank of Kenya join hands in powering Kenya’s off-grid areas with 14 mini-grids

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Kenya 2019/03/19

19 March 2019

Through the DFID funded Results-based Financing (RBF) Facility, EnDev through Barclays provides incentives to 4 companies for implementing 14 mini-grids in two Kenyan counties, Turkana and Marsabit.

The 21.2 kWp Kataboi mini-grid system. Photo by EnDev (Jackson Mutonga).

WhatsApp Image 2019-03-14 at 21.38.41.jpeg The 21.2 kWp Kataboi mini-grid system. Photo by EnDev (Jackson Mutonga).

On 15th March, Nirav Agencies Limited, one of the four selected companies to implement the mini-grids, commissioned the first 2 mini-grids, Naduat and Kataboi, both in Turkana County.

The Naduat solar mini-grid consists of 42.4 kWp of PV capacity and 148 kWh of lead acid battery storage capacity and is designed to meet the village electricity needs for at least the first 5 years of operation. The distribution network is 5.5 km long and covers a large percentage of the village, with around 4,500 residents. The target is to connect 192 customers and to promote productive use of electricity. The DFID RBF Facility, managed by EnDev, will provide a total capital incentive of around 90,000 Euro. These payments will only be paid when the connections have been verified in line with the pre-agreed results.

The second mini-grid, the Kataboi solar plant, consists of 21.2 kWp of PV capacity and 74 kWh of lead acid battery storage capacity. Target is to connect 93 customers in the village of about 1,500 residents. EnDev will provide a total capital incentive of around 80,000 Euro, also upon verification.

Both mini-grid power plants are deployed in a containerized, modular solution for easy scale up based on demand growth. EnDev’s RBF mechanism was complementing the efforts of the bilateral GIZ programme ProSolar in Kenya, offering technical assistance to the project developers by conducting feasibility studies, raising community awareness and engaging government institutions throughout the project development cycle.

Mr. Nirav Shah, Managing Director of Nirav Agencies Limited, who joined the kick-off of the mini-grid projects stated: “GIZ has been very instrumental in the development of these projects through community sensitization, signing of several MoUs, technical advice, license applications, and overall planning. They were a key partner to facilitate this complex process. Nirav is keen to develop more projects in the marginalized areas of Kenya.”

The Kenyan government has a target of reaching national universal electricity access by 2022 through grid extension, grid densification & intensification, mini-grids and solar home systems. According to this strategy, private sector investment will be required to complement government funding to achieve this target and especially in off-grid counties where electrification rates are lower than 10% compared to the national average of 73 percent.