KENYA SET TO LAUNCH AFRICA’S BIGGEST WIND FARM

Kenya is on course to launching the largest wind farm in Africa on schedule with the Lake Turkana Wind Power project so far having installed 155 out of 365 turbines in the past six months. The project is expected to be completed by June next year.

Lake Turkana Wind Power General Manager Phylip Leferink says the project when completed will play a key role in Kenya’s energy supply and make a significant contribution towards the country’s economic growth.

Kenya, which relies heavily on renewable energy such as geothermal and hydro-power, aims to expand its total installed generating capacity to about 6,700 megawatts (MW) by 2017, up from 1,700 MW in 2013.

In order to help achieve this target, the country launched Lake Turkana Wind Power project which is expected to add 310 MW of renewable generation capacity to the Kenyan national electricity grid.

“By managing to hoist these turbines within the stipulated time, the team has not only achieved a technological feat, but also navigated through a logistical challenge of getting all the turbines here in Loiyangalani, which is 1,200 KM from the (main Kenyan) port of Mombasa,” says Phylip.

Once completed, the output from the wind farm will be enough to power more than one million Kenyan households. The power will be evacuated and transmitted to the national grid through a double circuit 400-kilovolt (kV), transmission line of 438 kilometres being constructed by Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco).

Leferink says that they are working with project partners to ensure that they complete this wind farm within the stipulated time so that they can play a key role in Kenya’s energy supply and make a significant contribution towards the country’s economic growth.

The wind farm at Marsabit has a 20-year deal to sell electricity at 8.6 shillings per kilowatt/hour (kWh) to Kenya Power, the country’s State-owned power utility.

The farm sits on 40,000 acres (16,187 hectares) of land in an area which receives steady winds throughout the year. Assembly of the turbines on site began in March this year after the civil works on the foundations of the first batch of turbines were completed.

Lake Turkana Wind Power is expected to complete the installation process of the full wind farm by June 2017, with a turbine being installed daily.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK.