Construction of a Sh15 billion power project in the county has begun.
Dubbed Meru County Energy Park, the project is a partnership between Windlab, a global renewable energy provider, and the county government.
It is expected to be ready in 2022.
The renewable energy project is expected to generate 80 Megawatts (MW), enough to supply electricity to 200,000 households and boost local economy, said a senior official of the company undertaking the project.
According to Windlab officials, the project will create jobs for the locals and provide additional clean power to the national grid.
Douglas Kaume, a project developer, said the project currently occupies about 2,000 acres, but the final location is expected to be 140 acres.
“This is a utility-scale hybrid project and will consist of wind, solar and battery storage,” said Kaume.
Kaume said Athwana was chosen to host the project because the area has good wind resources, which are compatible with the solar resources.
Katherine Persson, Windlab’s managing director for East Africa, said the project is privately financed and Meru County will be a stakeholder through the Meru County Investment and Development Corporation.
Persson said they had used local labour in carrying out activities such as construction of the recently-commissioned meteorological mast.
“Where casual labour is required, the locals have always been used,” said Persson, adding that more local labour will be used as the project progresses.
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