A 50-MW solar power plant is in the planning stages for Garissa in the northern region of Kenya. It will be one of the largest grid-connected solar power plants in Africa.
It will be curious to see how many homes in the local area it can power. In the United States, a megawatt has been estimated to be enough to power 500 to 1,000 homes. In Kenya, the average home may use quite a bit less electricity.
The town of Garissa has about 65,000 residents. Just for the sake of example, say there are four residents per home, or about 15,000 homes. A 50-MW in this area could meet all the electricity needs, and beyond.
“We are pleased to be a part of Kenya’s push towards clean-tech development and commitment to renewable energy. As a market leader in the solar energy business, JinkoSolar will play a key role in supply Kenya’s growing demand for solar energy. By cooperating with CJIC, we expect this project will provide JinkoSolar with future opportunities in Kenya’s solar power plant industry,” said Mr. Kangping Chen, Chief Executive Officer of JinkoSolar.
Technical support will be provided to the solar power project by JinkoSolar, and they are the preferred module supplier to Jiangxi Corporation for International Economic & Technical Co, Ltd., which is working on the construction.
Kenya has a very high solar potential. A World Bank document said the country has the equivalent annual solar power potential of 70 million tons of oil.
Solar power is being used on a small scale there. For example, sunlight is being used for charging cell-phones in rural areas. Oil is Kenya’s second largest import commodity. Also, micro-solar has been used to power some schools, and more solar development is being planned.