Safaricom in talks to supply excess power to households

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Safaricom Tsavo cluster engineer Julius Mnene (left) explains divisions of the transmitter to officials at the Taveta-KRA base station. [File, Standard]

Telecommunications firm Safaricom is holding talks to start supplying power to the national grid from solar and wind power plants at its base stations.

The mobile phone service provider is moving to take advantage of the Energy Act 2019, which allows households and businesses connected to the main power grid to generate their own electricity and supply any excess to the grid.Their grid supply then earns them credits, reducing their future electric bills – a concept dubbed net-metering.“We’re planning to enter this area; it’s something that we’ve engaged various interested parties and technical experts and discussions are still at an early stage, but it’s our intention to enter this area,” Safaricom Head of Sustainable Business and Social Impact Sanda Ojiambo said in an interview.

Safaricom has a big footprint that covers almost every corner of Kenya through its base stations with cell phone towers totalling 4,945.Majority of these stations are connected to the national grid and hybridised by solar power and standby diesel generators, which the telco is replacing with green sources as part of its sustainability goals.The telco first announced its green power supply intention last year during the One Planet Summit in Nairobi, a strategy it sees as good for the environment and its business.

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