January 6 (SeeNews) - A grant of USD 992,000 (EUR 943,700) by the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) will support a 7.8-MW run-of-the-river hydro project in Kenya with an innovative community ownership structure.
The fund, managed by the African Development Bank (AfDB), announced approval of the grant on Thursday. Once the hydropower plant (HPP) is built, the Mutunguru community in Central Kenya will have a share of the project’s profits.
SEFA’s backing includes legal support for setting up appropriate community arrangements, financial advisory, support to lenders’ due diligence and to the environmental and social impact assessment, and institutional and management capacity building.
The AfDB’s Africa Climate Technology Centre (ACTC) will also contribute to the institutional and management capacity building for the community, the bank said.
“The Government of Kenya considers small hydro a top priority given the wide resource availability, baseload properties and ease of integration into the grid,” said Patrick Kimathi of the Mutunguru Hydroelectric Co Ltd. The 7.8-MW project supports the country’s efforts to expand on-grid generation capacity.
Again on Thursday, the SEFA said it has approved a USD-870,000 preparation grant for a scheme in Tanzania for the provision of “appropriately tenured and priced finance” to private sector firms developing renewable energy projects in rural areas.
(USD 1 = EUR 0.95)