US firm to invest Sh450bn in solar projects in Kenya

Solar power
A solar power project. PHOTO/FILE
US firm SkyPower has committed to invest Sh450 billion in the development of solar power in Kenya.

SkyPower, which ranks among the world’s largest developers of solar photovoltaic (PV) energy projects, plans to set up an undisclosed number of “world-class” solar projects in the country over the next five years.

The firm’s chief executive Kerry Addler said the company had decided to double its investment from the initial commitment of Sh220 billion and to donate 3,600 solar lamps to Kenya as a sign of gratitude to the Kenyan government for making the country “business friendly”.

“We are impressed by how the [Kenyan] government has conducted itself in a professional and pro-business manner and we are committed to increasing our investment in Kenya,” Mr Addler said on Sunday during a breakfast meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta in New York.

SkyPower has also pledged to set up a research laboratory in the country to advance solar energy.

The firm signed the initial Sh220 billion-deal with Kenya in July during the 6th Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Nairobi.

The signing of the agreement was witnessed by President Kenyatta and the US President Barack Obama.

“Kenya has become an African hub for innovation and entrepreneurship and SkyPower is proud to contribute to this unprecedented milestone in Kenya’s ambitious renewable energy programme,” Mr Addler said while making the disclosure at the GES.

He added that the projects would help Kenya to realise her electrification goals while supporting development of renewable energy.