The launch of the Kenyan wind energy scheme, the Lake Turkana Wind Power project, is drawing close to producing power this year.On Wednesday, the founder of the project, Carlo Van Wageningen, told Reuters in a telephone interview that the wind energy project should be fully connected to the national electricity grid and producing power by the end of June this year.
Van Wageningen stated that most of the 365 wind turbines have been erected and the last batch of 30 is due to arrive in the port city of Mombasa early in February.
Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems is supplying the turbines for this project.
“As of last Friday, we had 299 turbines standing and ready. Of those, we have by tomorrow (Thursday), 120 turbines fully connected to the substation and therefore ready to deliver 110MW of power,” van Wageningen said.
He added: “We expect all the turbines to be erected, 365 (of them) by mid-March, and by mid-May latest, all of them will be fully connected to the substation, in readiness for power delivery.”
Wind energy project making progress
In October 2016, the developers of the Lake Turkana wind power project declared to have installed 155 of the 365 turbines over a period of six months.
It is reported that at present Kenya Electricity Generating Company is the country's sole wind power producer; however, its capacity is just 25.5MW.
The Lake Turkana project is set to boost the country's capacity as it will provide 310MW in total, adding to Kenya’s total current power generation capacity of about 2,341MW, media reported.
Media quoted van Wageningen stating that a 428 km, 400-kilovolt powerline running from Loiyangalani in northern Kenya to Suswa in the centre of the country, which will link Lake Turkana Power to the national grid, should finally be ready by the end of June.
“So hopefully in the middle of this year we should start delivering the cheap power,” he said.
The powerline, being built by state-run Kenya Transmission Company (KETRACO), had been due for completion by October last year but was delayed by demands for compensation from landowners along the route and other issues.
The power produced will be bought at a fixed price of $0.084/kWh by Kenya Power over a 20-year period in accordance with the power purchase agreement (PPA).