Kenya’s 300 MW Lake Turkana wind energy project

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 turbines technology has seen recent rapid improvement with the development of wind turbines such as the Vestas V52 that is the design standard selected by LTWP.

Kenya’s 300 MW Lake Turkana wind energy project construction will start by December, following the issue by the government of a letter of support for the private JV.

The US$870 million Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) project had been scheduled to inject an initial 50 MW into the national grid by June, and to be at full capacity a year later.

LTWP is a subsidiary of KP&P, a firm from the Netherlands that sets up wind farm projects. “We now look to breaking ground by December, to having the initial 5 0MW running on the national grid by September 2013, and to reaching full capacity by mid 2014,” LTWP Chairman Carlo Van Wageningen told at a function for the signing of the government letter of support.

LTWP would inject about US$250 million into the wind farm as equity, representing a 30% stake, he continued. The wind farm involves building the wind turbines within Loiyangalani, in the northwest near the Lake Turkana basin. The venture will consist of 365 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 850 kilowatts, and is the first of its kind in Kenya. LTWP already has an agreement with Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems to supply 360 wind turbines.

The 300 MW will be transmitted to the national grid through a 428km overhead line it will build for the government to deliver the electricity to the state-run Kenya Power and Lighting Company. The Kenyan government will earn about US$20 million in carbon credit earnings.