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Dongfang Electric plans East Africa solar energy group to build 50MW PV project

Chinese energy corporation to create solar energy organisation to develop large-scale PV project in Kenya

Solar farm in Africa
The 50MW solar energy system will be developed in Nakura Country, near the capital city of Nairobi.

Chinese energy corporation Dongfang Electric is looking to establish an African solar energy organisation to build a 50MW PV project in Kenya. The energy organisation in Africa will be responsible for the development of the 50MW solar energy system, which will be connected to the Kenyan energy grid.

The system will be based in Nakura Country in the north western part of the country, near the capital city of Nairobi.

The project, currently in early stages of development, is expected to receive approval from the Kenyan government by early 2014. Dongfang said it would have to purchase 100 acres of land for the project.

Nakura county governor Kinutia Mbugau, who met with Dongfang representatives in July, talked about what this project will mean to Kenya. He said: "This project will promote distribution of cheap energy and reduce the cost of energy connectivity which has been and is still high. Energy is a main factor that is considered by investors and if we reduce its charges, we will be attracting investments into the country."

Companies in BRIC countries such as China are increasingly seeing the potential of the African continent as a ‘frontier’ nation.

Yingli Green Energy’s CEO Miao Liansheng said earlier this year the company will prioritise growing markets with one of them being South Africa.

Yingli also provided  96MW of PV technology towards the 180 hectare Jasper PV Solar Plant. The plant, which is one of the largest solar projects in South Africa, will have the potential to power 30,000 homes. Kenya is estimated to have  a renewable energy capacity of around 1.6GW. The country's government plans to invest in the development of thermal, geothermal and renewable generation to expand that capacity to 3,000 MW by 2015.