Kabarak University is sourcing for funds to construct a solar power plant.
The 10 megawatt solar power plant will sit on the 100-acre parcel of land earmarked for the Sh45 billion Kabarak University Teaching, Research and Referral Mission Hospital.
The modern hospital ground breaking was done in June 14, 2017 by then Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu.
“The upcoming modern hospital will require and uninterrupted power supply to maintain its key installations and that is why we have decided to set up a solar power plant to produce sufficient power to run the hospital,” said Kabarak University Vice-Chancellor Prof Henry Kiplangat on Friday.
The VC said that the university has a long term plan to set up a 75megawatt solar plant.
“We are still soliciting finances and fulfilling regulatory requirements. We are also engaging the national government to realise our dream,” said Prof Kiplangat.
However, he did not disclose the financing details of the project.
“It will be quite expensive and once we have completed the paperwork we shall make the financial details public,” said Prof Kiplangat.
At the same time, he said the neighbouring institutions including Kabarak University, Kabarak Primary School and Moi High School Kabarak will be connected to the power grid.
“We are grappling with high power bills which we are seeking ways to bring down. We have installed solar heaters in our new hostels in order to reduce our dependence on firewood for water heating,” said Prof Kiplangat.
Prof Kiplangat spoke at the Kabarak University Guest House and conference Centre on Friday during the third annual Solar and renewable Energy exhibition partners meeting.
More than 50 stakeholders in the renewable energy sector and institutions of higher learning, cooperatives and farmers attended the meeting ahead of the exhibition which will be held from September 16-17.
Upon completion of the solar plant, the university will then sign a power purchase agreement with electricity distributor Kenya Power.
Kabarak university, the brain child of former President Daniel arap Moi will become the second institution to construct a solar power plant.
Strathmore University in Nairobi is the first institution to put up a solar power plant. Strathmore has connected its 0.6megawatt to the national grid.
“We want to join other institutions which have set up solar power plants to reduce power bills,” said the VC.
He said since the cost of manufacturing goods will drastically be reduced, inflation will drop to manageable levels.
The VC said that construction of the solar power plant is in line with Kabarak University’s long term commitment to environmental conservation and harnessing renewable energy sources.
“As a university our focus is to make good use of green energy and make what is available in the environment to benefit the community,” said Prof Kiplangat.
He said that despite having plenty of sunshine, the country, it was unfortunate the country still relies on other forms of energy like hydropower.
“If we have sunshine throughout the year, we should think of harnessing the energy to boost power supply in the country,” said Prof Kiplangat.
He revealed that the solar power plant and the proposed modern hospital will create jobs.