L Turkana Wind eyes power output in June
The firm has installed 155 of the 365 turbines – tested for power generation – in the past six months estimated at Sh70 billion
The Lake Turkana Wind Power, the developer of the 310-megawatt farm, will start generating electricity for the national grid by June next year, the company has announced.
The firm says about 90MW of power will be produced in the second quarter of 2017, nine months after the projected period in September 2016.
“This output from the wind farm will be enough to power more than one million Kenyan households,” Lake Turkana Wind Power general manager Phylip Leferink said in a statement.
The firm has installed 155 of the 365 turbines in the past six months esti- mated at Sh70 billion. The project will be the largest wind farm in Africa on completion. The company said Vestas turbines are already being tested for power generation.
“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 1200km from the Port of Mombasa,” Leferink said. “This is a clear demonstration that we are on course to launching the largest wind farm in Africa on time.”
The assembly of the turbines began in March 2016 after the civil works on the foundations of the first batch of turbines had been completed. The various parts, including the blades, were transported by road to the site from the Port of Mombasa.
Kenya, which relies heavily on renewables such as geothermal and hydropower, aims to expand installed capacity to about 6,700MW by 2017, up from 1,700MW in 2013.
The Marsabit county-based wind firm has a 20-year deal to sell electricity at Sh8.6kWh to Kenya Power. The farm sits on 40,000 acres in an area that receives steady winds throughout the year.
“We are impressed with the progress that we have made so far; we are working with our project partners to ensure that we complete this wind farm within the stipulated time.
This will ensure that we will soon be able to play a key role in Kenya’s energy supply and make a significant contribution towards the country’s economic growth,” Leferink said.
A view of the Sh70 billion Lake Turkana Wind Power project in Loiyangalani district, Marsabit county, on August 16. The programme, which sits on 40,000 acres, is the largest private investment in Kenya