El parque contempla la instalación de 360 aerogeneradores, de 850 kilovatios cada uno. Los fabricará la empresa Vestas Wind Systems, de Dinamarca, un país pionero en eólica. No obstante, para que la red eléctrica pueda asumir este aumento de la generación de electricidad, las autoridades reconocen que será necesario renovar las infraestructuras eléctricas del país.
Se construirá en varias etapas. El parque eólico empezará su producción de electricidad en 2011 y estará a su capacidad completa en el año 2012. Los costes totales del proyecto son de unos 760 millones de dólares, de los cuales el 30% serán financiados por el Banco de Desarrollo de África.
Aunque por el momento sólo se planean 300 megavatios, un portavoz de la compañía indicó que es posible hacer una expansión una vez que crezca la capacidad de transmisión.
La capacidad instalada de Kenia para producir electricidad es de sólo 1.200 MW, y crece a una velocidad de 8% al año.
Si la planta cumple con lo prometido, sería capaz de cubrir un 30% de las necesidades de electricidad del país. La instalación, que costará unos 760 millones de dólares, cuenta con una importante financiación del gobierno nacional y con la ayuda del Banco Africano de Desarrollo, banco multinacional de los 53 países africanos miembros y que está financiado por 24 países europeos, americanos y asiáticos.
El tendido de transmisión eléctrica será de 426 kilómetros, llegando desde Loiyangalani a Suswa en el suroeste de Kenia. De allí la electricidad generada se volcará a la red eléctrica general. El tendido tendrá capacidad para transmitir 1.000 MW, de los cuales, por el momento, la red eléctrica nacional de Kenia solo puede absorber unos 400 MW.
Si bien hay otras compañías que están barajando las posibilidades eólicas de zonas como Ngong Hills ( en las afueras de Nairobi) o Kinangop, Turkana Wind Power es la única que ya firmado un acuerdo con el gobierno nacional, según Chris Staubo, portavoz de la empresa.
Kenia obtiene su electricidad mediante presas hidroeléctricas, que se ven afectadas por las sequías periódicas, por lo que ha decidido empezar a buscar fuentes alternativas, como la eólica.
África apenas ha desarrollado la energía eólica: en todo el continente sólo había a 1 de enero de 2009 un total de 570 megavatios, repartidos básicamente entre Egipto (365 MW), Marruecos (134 MW) y Túnez (54 MW), con pequeños parques en Suráfrica, Cabo Verde y Nigeria.
Actualmente hay otros tres proyectos eólicos en marcha en Kenia. Etiopía podría inaugurar dentro de muy poco otro gran parque eólico en el África oriental gracias a un acuerdo firmado conjuntamente con la empresa francesa Vergnet. El acuerdo preve la construcción y puesta en funcionamiento de un parque eólico de 120 MW en dos años y medio.
Tanzania calcula hacerlo este año o en 2010 si logra superar los problemas logísticos que supone hacer llegar las palas de los aerogeneradores.
Kenya joins global rush to go green
The “green” jobs would be created in coming years as a result of the impact of the emerging renewable energy economy.
“Countries are going green in their quest to generate clean energy and Kenya must not be left behind,” Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta said last week during his delivery of the 2009/2010 budget.
To enhance supply of environmentally friendly and affordable energy to the economy, investment focus will be on the development of renewable energy sources such as geothermal, wind, bio-fuel, biomass and the use of solid waste.
To generate clean energy and transform Kenya into a green economy, the government plans to establish a Green Energy Facility to offer interest-free long-term loans to firms that opt to replace conventional high-cost energy generation with low-cost green energy alternatives.
Funded by the State, it will be managed by a consortium of selected banks. Last month Kenya secured a $405 million (about Sh30 billion) loan to finance the development of a wind power project.
The financing of the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project is facilitated by the African Development Bank (AfDB), and will add an additional 300 Megawatts (MW) of power into the national grid by 2012.
The loan, which represents 70 percent of the project cost, will be sourced from development finance institutions and commercial sources.
AfDB is the Mandated Lead Arranger (MLA) for the loan, which has a loan tenor of up to 12 years and 9 years from commercial sources and will $135 million of the cost.
The project will construct a “wind farm” consisting of 353 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 850 KW.
The wind power project is expected to start production in June 2011 and reach full production by July 2012. In March 2009, Ormat Technologies Inc. commissioned the third phase of a facility at Kenya’s Olkaria geothermal plant, adding to the electricity grid 48MW.
Lake Turkana Wind Power
Lake Turkana Wind Power consortium (LTWP) is poised to provide 300 MW of clean power to Kenya’s national electricity grid by taking advantage of a unique wind resource in Northwest Kenya near Lake Turkana. Using the latest wind turbine technology LTWP can provide reliable and continuous clean power to satisfy up to 30% of Kenya’s current total installed power.
LTWP will construct a "wind farm" consisting of 353 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 850 KW. The total foreseen power generated by the initial phase of this wind farm is expected to start production in June 2011 and reach full production of 300 MW by July 2012, adding 30% or more to the total existing installed capacity available in Kenya. Wind turbine technology has seen recent rapid improvement with the development of turbines such as the Vestas V52 that is the design standard selected by LTWP.
The wind farm site is remote and presents a significant logistics challenge. Wind turbines and their propeller blades are large pieces of equipment that need special handling. LTWP commissioned Mammoet to conduct a route survey in Kenya to assess the state of the existing infrastructure and to determine the investments required to transport the turbines, equipment and materials to the site.
The study determined that some 200 km of road needed to be upgraded, and several bridges strengthened in order to transport the wind turbines to the site from the port in Mombasa. These costs are included in the financial model.
Connecting to the National Grid
Forecast power generated by the wind farm connects to the existing Kenya national grid. A comprehensive and detailed survey of the Kenyan electricity and high tension grid network by Schicon bvba, in consultation with the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) and the Kenya Ministry of Energy, determined that 400 km of transmission lines are needed to connect to the national grid at the optimal point. Forecast completion of connection to the national grid is by June 2010. The KPLC has confirmed its interest to enter into a power purchase agreement with LTWP.
An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) commissioned by LTWP is completed. Kenya’s environmental authority, the National Environmental Monitoring Authority (NEMA), must approve the EIA as a prerequisite to project implementation.
The EIA is based on Kenya’s latest environmental guidelines and the most recent World Bank safeguard policies and guidelines plus appropriate Danish and Dutch guidelines. The project is forecast to reduce carbon emissions by 16 million tons, thus gaining valuable carbon credits. NEMA approval is anticipated by December 2008.
The Renewable Energy Resource
Meteorologists describe the Turkana channel as the valley between the Kenya highlands and the Ethiopian highlands. This channel helps form the "Turkana low level jet." Strong winds exist throughout this channel with speeds decreasing where the channel is wider.
Two distinct jet streams have been identified; these combine in Marsabit into a single very high wind low-level jet. The Turkana channel is ultimately responsible for the consistent predictable winds found on the Southeastern shores of Lake Turkana where the project is located.
These winds, known locally as the upepo, were first described by the Austrian Count Teleki and his assistant Lt. Ludwig von Hohnel. Von Hohnel wrote in 1888 about this area where "No living creature shared the gloomy solitude with us: and as far as our glass could reach there was nothing to be seen but desert-desert everywhere. To all this was added scorching heat, and the ceaseless buffeting of the sand-laden wind…"
In 1964 John Hillaby wrote in his book "Journey to the Jade Sea", referring to the very location selected for the project, that the "wind began to rise at dawn until at times it had some of the skull-wrinkling intensity of a scream."
Thus is described the long-known and now valuable renewable energy resource that LTWP will utilize. More specifically, the German Wind Energy Institute – DEWI conducted confirmatory on-site wind measurement at the locations selected for construction of the wind turbines.
DEWI has been taking systematic wind speed measurements on site since the 1st of December-2006, and these reliably indicate an average monthly wind speed of 11 meters per second. These results are among the best DEWI has ever encountered and can be compared to "proven reserves" in the hydrocarbon industry.
Marsabit County Council have granted LTWP a 99 year Lease Agreement on 150,000 acres (66,000 ha). This parcel of land is situated to take full advantage of the Turkana low level jet stream that is complemented by the unique topographical features on the site.
Unique to the site are Mt. Kulal to the North and Mt. Nyiru to the South that act to produce a venturi effect further accelerating the winds across the proposed location where the multiple wind turbines are to be located.
Overall the site is characterized by extremely low rainfall that sustains sparse vegetation on a barren rocky volcanic soil. Indigenous nomadic populations utilize the area and the impact of the project on them is addressed in the project’s environmental impact assessment (EIA).
Anset Africa Ltd.
This was founded in 2000, and is predominantly a Project Development/Management company and has been involved in projects in the field of solid waste management, sustainable energy (biogas), road construction,tourism, telecommunications and humanitarian assistance. The Regional Representative of ANSET AFRICA Ltd. is Mr. Christopher Staubo.
Mr. Harry Wassenaar
Harry has been active in the wind energy sector since 1991 and realized his first windturbine in 1993. He was the founder and first chairman of the Vereniging van Windturbine Eigenaren IJsselmeerpolders (VWIJ). In addition, he has been a board member of the former Dutch wind energy association (NEWIN).
Mr. Henk Hutting
Henk has been active in Wind Energy since 1982 developing the very first wind park in The Netherlands, he brings with him a vast experience in this field. He has been directly involved in the management team of some leading wind farms in the Netherlands and in South America.
In 1987 he was instrumental in creating the first Wind Consultancy Team, KEMA. He was a consultant for numerous wind Energy projects around the world and was a Wind Energy researcher for 10 years. In 2003 he moved to a wind farm development company, WinWind, as CEO. Here he developed the largest wind farm in the Netherlands, 44MW, he then founded a wind energy development company in the UK called Breeze. He later sold the company to Econcern.
In 2007 he founded his own wind energy development company, Hutting Windenergie B.V. with this he developed the next biggest wind farm in the Netherlands, 63MWwhich started construction in June 2007. He is now also a shareholder and partner in LTWP.
Mr. W. Dolleman
Dolleman is a Dutchman who is a Kenyan resident since 1981 is an independent entrepreneur. Mr. Dolleman is co-owner of AgriFresh Ltd., a company that grows fresh vegetables and exports the same ‘ready for shelf’ to the United Kingdom and other European markets. AgriFresh Ltd. employs 1900 employees. Mr Ed. Schieke
Schieke is an experienced and qualified Electrical engineer. Ir. Schieke has been active in various bodies active in the field of energy and energy systems, such as the commission "netkosten" VSDB (Vereniging Directeuren Stroom Distributie bedrijven), commission "decentrale opwekking" VDEN, board member at NV EZH (at present Eon), member programme commission VEGIN, commissioner for NETHENCO BV, commissioner for GCI BV (Gas Constructions International) and commissioner for TEMO BV.
Mr. John Thiongo Mwangi
Thiongo is of Kenyan Nationalty, he is an entrepreneur and a well known personality in Kenya, he has a long experience in the steel pipe manufacturing industry.
Mr. Kasper Paardekooper
Kasper has a legal background, specialised in energy legislation. Since the completion of his law study at the Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen (KUN) in 1991, he has worked as registrar at the court of justice and the appeal court of justice in Arnhem. Since 1999, he has been a lawyer with CMS Derks Star Busmann, specialised in energy and real estate affairs.
In this capacity, he has been involved in the development of approximately 35 wind projects in the Netherlands (both on shore and off shore) He is a board member of the Dutch wind energy association (NWEA).
This is a company that develops and operates wind energy projects. The founding partners, Mr. Harry Wassenaar and Mr. Kasper Paardekooper have been active in this sector since 1991 and 1999 respectively. At present the company operates 5 windturbine projects in The Netherlands, which were realised by the founders of KP&P before its formal establishment in 2005.
Overview of Wind Energy Resource in Kenya
Wind energy is more cost effective than PV for both grid connected and isolated systems. Wind power installations cost 3.5 times less per Watt than PV installations and operate for 12-18 hours at good sites as opposed to 5-6hrs for PV systems.
Wind Energy Resource Potential and Distribution
The Equatorial areas are assumed to have poor to medium wind resource. This could be a general pattern for Kenya. However some topography specifics (channelling and hill effects due to the presence of the Rift Valley and various mountain and highland areas) have endowed Kenya with some excellent wind regime areas.
The North West of the country (Marsabit and Turkana districts) and the edges of the Rift Valley are the two large windiest areas (average wind speeds above 9m/s at 50 m high). The coast is also a place of interest though the wind resource is expected to be lower (about 5-7 m/s at 50 m high). Many other local mountain spots offer good wind conditions. Due to monsoon influence, some seasonal variations on wind resource are expected (low winds between May and August in Southern Kenya).
It is expected that about 25% of the country is compatible with current wind technology. The main issue is the limited knowledge on the Kenya wind resource. The meteorological station data are quite unreliable while modern measurement campaigns have started recently when investigating wind park locations.
Kenya’s wind resource is determined from wind speed data from meteorological stations. The Department has 35 stations spread all over the country. Information gathered is not adequate to give detailed resolutions due to sparse station network.
There is significant potential to use wind energy for grid connected wind farms, isolated grids (through wind-diesel hybrid systems) and off-grid community electricity and water pumping.
Use of wind turbines or wind pumps in Kenya is marginal. The current installed capacity of wind turbines is 750kW; 150kW of which are small isolated wind turbines and 600kW of medium grid connected wind turbines; 2 at Ngong Hills and 1 in Marsabit. There are plans underway to develop a 10-15 MW wind farm in Kinangop. An average of 80-100 small wind turbines (400W) have been installed to date, often as part of a Photovoltaic (PV)-Wind hybrid system with battery storage.
Wind pumps are more common than wind turbines, 2 local companies manufacture and install wind pumps. To date installations are in the range of 300-350.
Challenges/Issues Affecting Exploitation of Wind Energy Resources in Kenya
*Site selection: Wind potential assessments are site specific and time consuming. This means that wind energy developments require a large initial investment for careful wind prospecting. Good equipment and quality work is needed, which is expensive.
*Updated wind resource map for Kenya: MoE has made some progress in this area. Suppliers of wind turbines often have to rely on meteorological data and customers’ observations to determine whether a site is viable. Such information is misleading and often leads to installation of poorly performing or non-performing systems. The SWERA (Solar and Wind Energy Resource Assessment) Programme is also in the process of developing wind energy resource information for Kenya which will be made available free of charge through it’s website.
*Distance from transmission lines: Areas in the North that have the highest potential for wind energy generation are too far from the nearest transmission lines making grid connection uneconomical.