Kenya Plans to Develop Wind Power at 9 Sites

Kenya Electricity Generating Co., the nation’s biggest electricity producer, is seeking companies to conduct a feasibility study for windenergy projects at nine sites, it said in an advertisement in the Nairobi- based Daily Nation newspaper.

KenGen, Kenya’s biggest electricity producer, already has a 5.5 megawatt wind farm with wind turbines from Vestas on the outskirts of the capital and is in the process of increasing output at that wind farm by 10 MW.

East Africa’s biggest economy is diversifying its sources of electricity away from hydro-electric generation and hopes to lean more on geothermal and wind energy in future.

"In order to develop more wind power, KenGen has identified nine potentially productive sites around the country," the company said in an advertisement in the Daily Nation newspaper, adding that it was already collecting data at the sites.

The winning company will be required to analyse available wind data, establish wind power capacity at each site, carry out environmental surveys, evaluate the transmission line and sub-station capacity, and develop a conceptual design.

Another company, Lake Turkana Wind Power, is in the process of setting up a 300 MW wind farm in Kenya’s remote north.

KenGen has an installed capacity of 761 MW of hydroelectricity, another 115 MW from geothermal fields and 139.8 MW from burning fossil fuels to turn turbines.

"In order to develop more wind power, KenGen has identified nine potential sites around the country," the company said. "Wind data collection commenced between November 2008 and May 2009 and is currently on-going."

In January, KenGen, as the company is known, said it was seeking companies to construct a 10 megawatt wind power project, as the second phase of a 5.1 megawatt plant in Ngong, 18 kilometers (11 miles) north of the capital, Nairobi.

Kenya Electricity Generating Company Limited, KenGen is the leading electric power generation company in Kenya, producing about 80 percent of electricity consumed in the country. The company utilises various sources to generate electricity ranging from hydro, geothermal, thermal and wind. Hydro is the leading source, with an installed capacity of 677.3 MW, which is 72.3 per cent of the company’s installed capacity.

KenGen has a workforce of 1,500 staff located at different power plants in the country. With its wealth of experience, established corporate base and a clear vision, the company intends to maintain leadership in the liberalised electric energy sub-sector in Kenya and the Eastern Africa Region.