Good news as L.Turkana wind power project hits 307 MW in generation

Good news as L.Turkana wind power project hits 307 MW in generation
LTWP Site_2nd June 2016

In Summary

  • The LTWP farm hit 307 MW in power injection to the national grid on Monday morning ending queries to the project's ability to hit capped 310 MW potential
  • LTWP Director Rizwan Fazal expects milestone to affirm the project's viability to subdue concerns of below-par performance which contravenes some of the media reports issued in 2018 which alluded to a near 30 percent cut in production targets.
  • The projects will in the medium term contribute to cuts in consumer monthly billings as the renewable energy source reduced the reliance on 'dirty fuels' for electricity generation especially during heightened demand.

The Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) farm hit 307 megawatts (MW) in power injection to the national grid on Monday morning ending queries to the project’s ability to hit its pre-advertised 310 MW capacity.

Commenting on the project’s milestone, LTWP Director Rizwan Fazal said the newly-reached goal helps affirm the project’s potential ending speculation to the initiative’s real contribution to the State’s renewable energy sources.

“We had always built a plant that has a name plate capacity of 310 MW which means each of the 365 turbines operating at their absolutely maximum capacity of 850 kilowatt (KW) each would produce 310 MW. The figure you see today is the highest we’ve produced to date which means at that particular time, the plant produced 307 MW out of a total 310 MW capacity,” Mr. Fazal told Citizen Digital.

However, the 310 MW marker does not in anyway give an indicator to the wind farm’s contribution of renewable energy to the national grid at any one time owing to fluctuations in wind strengths over time.

“The milestone does not account for the production of 307 MW at all times. This does however show that the plant can, if the wind capacity factor is high enough, deliver the maximum amount of power into the system,” he added.

The Ksh.72 billion wind-farm was integrated to the national grid at the end of October 2018 following the completion of a transmission line to Suswa. The project is expected to lower the cost of power to consumers over the medium-term by reducing the reliance on ‘dirty fuels’ for electricity generation especially during periods of heightened demand.

Demand for electricity generally picks between 6 pm and 9 pm as most Kenyans retreat to their homes to match increased wind strengths over the wind-farm located in Loiyangalani District in Marsabit County.

Wind strengths, however, continue to pick to around 3 am as electricity demand falls after 9 pm leading to the generation of excess power.

The LTWP leadership is expected to work alongside the State to ensure the consumption of the excess power for the full utilization of the wind farm’s power.

Hydro power recycling — the process of utilizing energy that would normally be wasted in power pumps for the recycling of hydroelectric water and the exportation of the excess capacity — are some of the floated ideas to ensure for the full utilization of generated capacity at the LTWP wind-farm.

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