How Kenya now has international firms eating out of its palm after pulling off the dream to set up Africa’s largest wind power plant project

 Lake Turkana Wind Power plant
  • The sprawling wind farm located on the shores of Lake Turkana in northern Kenya is packed with 365 turbines each with a capacity of 850kW.
  • The renewable energy project is designed to boost Kenya’s electricity supply by 13 percent, giving more Kenyans access at a lower cost.
  • With the launch of Lake Turkana wind farm, Kenya has cemented its place as the leader in renewable energy in the African continent and with it has won many regional and international admires who are now salivating at the country’s lucrative multi-million energy projects.

On July 18 Kenya officially unveiled Africa’s largest wind power plant project - the Lake Turkana Wind Power plant – marking the culmination of nine years of hard work.

The sprawling wind farm located on the shores of Lake Turkana in northern Kenya is packed with 365 turbines each with a capacity of 850kW, and a high voltage substation that has been connected to the Kenyan national grid through an associated Transmission Line; constructed by the Kenyan Government.

The renewable energy project is designed to boost Kenya’s electricity supply by 13 percent, giving more Kenyans access at a lower cost.

Today, we again raised the bar for the continent as we unveil Africa’s single largest wind farm,” said President Uhuru Kenyatta at its launch.

Kenya is without a doubt on course to be a global leader in renewable energy.”

The $775-million wind farm project is expected to go a long way in helping the national government reach its goals of ensuring housing, health care, jobs and food security to all citizens as well as connect all homes to electricity by 2022.

 “Today marks an important milestone in the country’s steady march towards achieving self-sufficiency in power production,” said Mugo Kibati, chairman of the Lake Turkana Wind Power, a private consortium that runs the plant.

With the launch of Lake Turkana wind farm, Kenya has cemented its place as the leader in renewable energy in the African continent and with it has won many regional and international admires who are now salivating at the country’s lucrative multi-million energy projects.

On the day before the Lake Turkana Wind Project (LTWP) launch, the European Investment Bank held a press conference in Nairobi during which it announced its ‘support for renewable energy projects’ in the country.

The EU Ambassador Stefano Dejak was present at the media briefing.

European and American firms, which have in the past decade lost to Chinese contractors on major infrastructure deals, already control significant stakes in the Sh71 billion LTWP wind farm in Marsabit and the Menengai Geothermal Power Station (under construction), projects.

Some of the projects identified by the Ministry of Energy as "investment-ready" include geothermal power generation plants at Menengai which have a projected capacity of 460 megawatts (MW), Suswa 1 (150 MW) and Baringo Silali (200 MW).

Others are a hydropower plant at Grand Falls along Tana River, LPG storage and bottling facility in Nairobi as well as a power transmission line between Kitui and Lamu for the controversial coal plant whose construction has been suspended.

Kenya under the stewardship of the Jubilee administration is on an ambitious drive to connect every household to electricity and has in recent years led expansion of the power grid and promoting off-grid sources such as solar plants.

This hasn’t gone unnoticed and the country was ranked third globally in geothermal energy capacity and number one in Africa by the Renewables Global Status report, 2017.

The investment projects presented by the plan to achieve universal access to electricity from 75 percent as at last year are estimated at $14.8 billion (Sh1.54 trillion), under the Electricity Sector Investment Prospectus (2018-2022).

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