The EUR 620 million (Ksh70 billion) scheme will transform supply of renewable energy in East Africa and benefit from additional financial support from the European Union, through the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund and a broad range of international investors. As the largest single wind farm in sub-Saharan Africa the Lake Turkana scheme is expected to generate around 20% of Kenya’s power.
The Lake Turkana project, located in remote northern Kenya, will be the largest ever private investment in Kenya. The farm will include 365 wind turbines, each capable of generating 850 kW. Infrastrucutre improvements will entail associated power and road connections.
“Availability of affordable energy is essential for Africa," said Pim van Ballekom, European Investment Bank vice president. "Electricity from the Lake Turkana Wind Power project will support economic growth across Kenya by helping to ensure power supply during periods of peak demand."
Once complete, the Lake Turkana Wind Power project should result in fewer power shortages whilst providing electricity that is 60 per cent cheaper than thermal power plants. The scheme will also reduce reliance on hydro that can face problems during the dry season and reduce the need to import expensive, unpredictably priced fossil fuels. According to van Ballekom, the 162km2
site of the new wind farm in Marsabit County has been found to have some of the most consistent winds in Africa. Daily temperature fluctuations and a valley between the Mt. Kulal and Mt. Nyiru ranges that will help ensure more efficient electricity generation by the project. Look for more updates on the African renewable energy industry in the "Market Focus" section of the March/April edition of Renewable Energy Focus. Sign up online today to receive your free subscription.