Kenya Tea Development Agency seeks to power its factories using solar energy

KENYA – Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) is the latest firm in Kenya seeking to generate its own power using renewable energy.

The tea producer and processor, through its wholly-owned subsidiary KTDA Power Company (KTPC) Ltd has launched a tender seeking independent power producers (IPPs) for the construction of a series of small-sized solar parks.

The projects are expected to have a capacity ranging from 300kW to 1MW and are intended at powering KTDA’s 29 factories and about half of the 68 facilities it manages, located across Kenya, cutting its power bills by nearly 50%.

“A typical factory with an installed capacity of 600 kW solar PV can have annual daytime demand of 1,594,172 kWh, which is about 50% of the total demand,” KTDA specified in the expression of interest issued to pre-qualify potential developers.

“The intention is to aggregate between five and ten projects which the successful IPP will then develop,” it added.

The IPPs will be tasked to design, procure, construct, finance and operate the solar PV projects and later enter into Power Purchase Agreements with the respective factory to purchase the generated energy.

An earlier assessment of the tea factories showed they had adequate solar resources – enough hours of sunshine per day and demand to make such plants economically viable.

Kenya’s total installed solar capacity stood at 95 MW in 2019

International Renewable Energy Agency

Recently, Kenya Breweries and East Africa Maltings, subsidiaries of East African Breweries, announced they are seeking regulatory approvals to set up three power generation plants.

In a notice to the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), the two sister companies have indicated that the move was necessitated by the regular power disruptions it experiences leading to stalling of their operations.

Once the regulator gives node to the request, EAML, supplier of quality brewing raw materials in the form of malt, barley and sorghum to the brewing units of the EABL group, is expected to set up a power generation plant at its premise in Nairobi, whose total capacity is estimated at 2.2 megawatts (MW).

KBL on other hand will generate at least 9.3 megawatts at its Nairobi plant and a 2.4-megawatt from solar power in Kisumu.

Other entities that have commissioned solar power plants in the country include Williamson Tea, Krystalline Salt, London Distillers and Bidco Africa, among many others.

By the end of 2019, Kenya’s total installed solar capacity stood at 95 MW, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Only 2 MW of PV was newly deployed last year.

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