A solar power plant. PHOTO | FILE Pan-African solar energy financier GridX Duara Holdings has injected Sh770 million into Two Rivers Power Company ( TPRC) to expand solar energy projects for Centum Real Estate.
TPRC, which is wholly owned by Two Rivers Development Limited – which is in turn 58% owned by Centum Investment Company, was founded to supply power to the Two Rivers Mall in Nairobi, but the funding will extend its scope to real estate projects by Centum RE.
The company holds a power generation and distribution license and operates a high voltage line from Ruaraka to its substation at the Two Rivers Mall. The electricity from the substation is complemented by a 1.2MW solar power plant located at the parking area of the mall.
GridX Duara has injected the funds in the form of a convertible loan. This means TPRC can repay the loan or allow GridX to turn it into a stake in the company at a future date.
According to Centum Investment Company CEO James Mworia, the funding will assist Centum RE in rolling out reliable solar energy infrastructure in its projects.
“Energy infrastructure is a key component of our mixed-use developments, and this partnership will boost in a big way Centum RE’s commitment to installing clean, affordable, and reliable power in our developments,” Mr Mworia said.
The alliance leverages on Centum RE’s track record of mixed-use projects and GridX Duara’s experience in financing renewable and distributed energy infrastructure across Africa.
GridX Duara, which is executing a Sh2.5 billion pipeline of solar projects, has developed over 1.9 MWp of solar power and 3.4 MWh of energy storage in Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique.
The partnership comes at a time when a growing number of large power customers in Kenya are shifting to own-generated solar power to beat high cost of electricity.
Local domestic consumers are also embracing solar power installation with the 2019 census report putting solar lighting uptake in Kenya homes at 19.3%, about 2.3 million homes.
Kenya is endowed with yearlong supply of ample sunshine which makes it easy to operate both small-scale and large-scale solar power systems within the country.