Wind Energy Investors to Earn Sh26 Billion From Turkana Wind Farm

The Sh75 billion Lake Turkana Wind Power consortium – the largest single private investment in Kenya’s history – will earn Sh26 billion (€200 million) over its lifespan.

The wind farm has been registered with the United Nations Framework Convention and the income will be shared with the government and the community.

It is expected to start producing 50 megawatts (MW) of electricity in the last quarter of next year and reach full production capacity of 300 MW three years later.

"Construction on the wind power plant will begin immediately after this although the road and transmission lines will commence sooner. Part 50 MW to 90 MW of capacity is to be commissioned by December 2013," the officials said in a statement.

The wind energy project will add 17 per cent of clean power to the national grid – taking advantage of natural wind resource in northwest Kenya near Lake Turkana to meet up to 17 per cent of Kenya’s current total installed power capacity of 1,394 MW.

At 7.52 cents per kilowatt hour, the consortium tariff provides a low and consistent power price. "If the wind is less than predicted then only LTWP suffers as Kenya Power only pays for the power produced at a fixed price per kWh," said the officials.

It will be approximately 60 per cent cheaper than thermal power plants, making it the least cost power generation option along with geothermal power .

The wind turbines project is expected to reduce dependence on unreliable hydro and on expensive, unpredictably priced fossil fuel-based power generation.

Its joint development partners are KP&P BV Africa, Aldwych International Limited, International Development Corporation of South Africa Limited (IDC), Wind Power A.S. (Vestas), Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund) and Industrialisaeringsfonen for Udviklingslandene (IFU) Denmark.

The lead arranger of the debt financing is the African Development Bank with Standard Bank of London and Nedbank Capital of South Africa as co-arrangers. LTWP will construct a wind farm consisting of 353 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 850 KW.