Kenya’s Lake Turkana wind power project is set to record history as Africa’s first largest wind farm, which is aiming to feed 310MW of clean power into national grid.In what is said to be the largest wind farm on the continent, developers of Lake Turkana wind power project has declared having installed 155 of 365 turbines in the past six months, local media The Exchange reported.
Phylip Leferink, the general manager of the project, said: “By managing to hoist these turbines within the stipulated time, the team has not only achieved a technological feat, but also navigated through a logistical challenge of getting all the turbines here in Loiyangalani, which is 1,200km from the port of Mombasa.”
“This is a clear demonstration that we are on course to launching the largest wind farm in Africa on time,” Leferink added.
Lake Turkana wind power project to boost capacity
The turbines, which are attached to 52 metre rotors are hoisted on towers stretching up to 44 metres high across the Sarima Village, in Marsabit County, media reported.
The wind farm is said to cover 40,000 acres (162 km²) and is located in Loiyangalani District, Marsabit County.
It is reported that the Ksh70 billion ($690 million) wind farm aims to provide 310MW of reliable, low cost wind power to Kenya’s national grid, equivalent to approximately 18% of the country’s current installed electricity generating capacity.
On completion, the project will comprise 365 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 850kW, the associated overhead electric grid collection system and a high voltage substation that will be connected to the national grid.
According to the media, the company said the Vestas turbines are already being tested for power generation.
The power produced will be bought at a fixed price of Sh8.6 ($0.084)/kWh by Kenya Power over a 20-year period in accordance with the power purchase agreement (PPA).
Project targets Q2 2017 for deadline
Media reported that the power will be evacuated and transmitted to the national grid through a double circuit 400kV, 438km transmission line that is currently being constructed by Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco).
According to the Exchange, Lake Turkana Wind Power project anticipates the completion of the installation process of the wind farm by June 2017, with a turbine being installed daily as from March 2016.
“We are impressed with the progress that we have made so far; we are working with our project partners to ensure that we complete this wind farm within the stipulated time. This will ensure that we will soon be able to play a key role in Kenya’s energy supply and make a significant contribution towards the country’s economic growth,” Leferink explained.
The firm is targeting to inject the first 90MW of wind power into the national grid by Q2 2017.
Pic credit: The Lake Turkana Wind Power Project (LTWP)