Meru eyes investors in green power with mapping of energy locations

Meru County has mapped out its renewable energy locations as the region prepares to open up its resources to investors in the power sector.

The digital map, prepared by USAid and launched in Nairobi on Thursday, identifies 25 potential areas for solar, small hydro-power and windmill projects that can generate up to 146,160 megawatts.

Already, various private firms are implementing eight power projects in Meru.

Blue Sea Energy, Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), Maralal Energy and Gulf Energy have expressed interest in wind power while Virunga Power, Kenya Tea Development Agency, Mt Kenya Power Company as well as Gulf Energy intend to invest in small hydro-power projects.

“Meru is organised and ready to catalyse the entry of private investments in our county through interventions such as this asset map that provides information to investors on the opportunities that exist,” said governor Peter Munya.

So far, plans to build wind power plants by KenGen and Blue Sea Energy are at advanced stages.

KenGen is setting up a 100-megawatt wind farm on 18,700-acre land in Kandebene, Tigania East, as it seeks to increase the proportion of renewable energy.

Blue Sea Energy, a Nairobi-based firm, will put up a 40-megawatt wind power plant in Ntumburi, Buuri sub-county on a 500-acre piece of land on the Nanyuki-Isiolo road. “We are through with all arrangements with most of the involved government agencies. We are waiting for the government to issue a power purchasing agreement so that we can start works,” said Blue Sea chairman David Mutai.

He said the first phase of a 27-turbine wind farm is expected to take about nine months to complete.

“There is potential for up to 300 megawatts at the wind farm. We expect to produce 60 megawatts in second phase.”

Blue Sea, which was formed in 2009, aims to generate 200 megawatts of wind power in Meru (100 megawatts) and Lambwe Valley in South Nyanza (100 megawatts) by 2017.