Kenyatta to launch Africa’s largest Wind Power Project

Turkana gets wind power

President Uhuru Kenyatta is scheduled to launch the construction of Africa’s largest wind power plant, the Lake Turkana Wind Power project on Thursday.

The plant, which will be put up at a cost of 70 billion shillings, will generate 310 MW of electricity, thereby increasing Kenya’s power generating capacity by 20 percent.

The pioneering of Africa’s largest wind power plant will be set up in Loyangalani district, Marsabit West Sub County.

The project proposes to provide low cost wind power at 310MW against the current and only wind power plant, Ngong’ Hills Wind Plant, which produces about 5.1MW of electricity.

The plant’s energy transmission will also expand Kenya’s current electricity capacity which stands at about 2000 megawatts, by 20 percent.

“This project is the largest wind power project on the African continent, the largest single private sector investment in the Kenyan industry to a tune of approximately 75 billion shillings,” said Mugo Kibati, the project chairman.

The wind farm sits on 40 thousand acres in Turkana and will comprise of 365 wind turbines each with a capacity of 850 KW.

The first 50 to 90 MW from the project will be ready for injection into the national grid by September 2016, with the estimated time for full completion of the project to be two years.

Locals are also expected to benefit from the project through job creations and an upgrading of existing roads from Laisamis town to the wind farm site, a distance of 204 kilometres.

The plant has a twenty year power generating agreement with Kenya Power. This is according to Carlo Van Wageningen, Director Lake Turkana Wind Power Project.

The plant also has a consortium with African Development Bank and South Africa’s Standard Bank and Nedbank capital as the lead arrangers.

Lisa Mugera contributed to this story

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