Lake Turkana wind power scheme readying for production by end June

The last batch of 30 wind turbines for the Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) project is due to arrive in Mombasa early this month. The project, Africa’s biggest wind power scheme and the largest private investment in Kenya’s history, should be fully connected to the national electricity grid and producing power by the end of June.

Carlo Van Wageningen, founder of the project, said on Jan 18 that he expected all 365 wind turbines to be erected by mid-March, and be fully connected to the substation by mid-May in readiness for power delivery.

Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems, the world’s biggest wind turbine maker, is supplying the turbines for the 70 billion shilling ($674 million) project.

When complete, the 40,000-acre (162 sq km) wind farm will provide 310MW of reliable, low cost wind power to Kenya’s national grid, equivalent to approximately 18 per cent of the country’s current electricity generating capacity.

The east African nation relies heavily on renewables such as geothermal and hydro power for its electricity supply and is investing in increasing electricity generation to keep up with growing demand for power and to reduce frequent blackouts.

In addition to Vestas, the Lake Turkana Wind Power consortium comprises KP&P Africa B.V. and Aldwych International as co-developers; Investment Fund for Developing Countries, Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation Ltd, Norway’s KLP Norfund Investments ASs and Sandpiper Limited.

The scheme was originally due to start generating power in June 2011 but faced a series of setbacks, mostly due to problems securing financing which delayed construction until 2014.