Kenya renewable energy firm Capital Power has secured $720,000 (about Sh72.6 million) from the African Union Commission (AUC) for a 140 megawatts (MW) geothermal prospect in Homa Bay County.
Director Tony Wanyama said the funds will be used to conduct a surface study and infrastructure upgrade programme at the Homa Hill.
The grant represents 80 per cent of the total cost of the surface exploration at $1.07 million (about Sh107.9 million).
Capital Power will conduct the studies starting this year, with the commissioning of the power plant expected by 2023.
Homa Hills is the only known geothermal resource in western Kenya.
Mr Wanyama said the project, once completed “will provide grid stability in Western Kenya and also provide employment opportunities as well as spur industrial development.”
AUC Commissioner for infrastructure and energy Amani Abou-Zeid (represented by Philippe Niyongabo, energy expert) said the grant is part of efforts to support geothermal energy development in eastern Africa, which has a potential of over 20,000 MW geothermal electricity.