In East Africa, developers of the Lake Turkana Wind Power project are billing Kenya Power monthly due to its failure to distribute the generated power as a result of a lack of transmission infrastructure.
According to the Daily Nation, this is despite recent discussions between energy ministry officials and the wind farm managers to delay the billing, which would ultimately be passed on to consumers.
Kenya Power managing director Ken Tarus told the media that an inter-ministerial committee had been formed to address the matter.
Lake Turkana Wind Power
The wind farm, the largest in Africa with a capacity of 310MW and envisaged to power an estimated one million homes, was initially planned to inject the first 50MW to the grid last October with the remainder to come online in July this year.
Media highlighted that the delays in construction of a 428km high-voltage line by Isolux, the company that won the tender in 2011, has hampered electricity evacuation from the northern town of Marsabit to Suswa substation.
This has left wind farm developers with stranded power amid pressing cash needs such as loans repayment, an obligation that taxpayers look set to shoulder.
Gov take over transmission line
The government had committed to link the mega wind park to the grid by January to allow the owners of the project to earn an income from power sales in time to pay bank loans in June, media reported.
In March this year, energy cabinet secretary, Charles Keter, said that government has moved in to pay subcontractors and suppliers owed by Madrid-based Isolux.
Keter said: “We want to deal with contractors directly and then seek reimbursement from the Spanish government. An account has been opened at Kenya Commercial Bank. The bank will issue letters of credit to suppliers to guarantee timely payments.” Read more…
Electricity from the wind park will cost $8.5 cents, which is in a similar cost range as geothermal power, or three times cheaper than diesel-generated electricity, media reported.
Featured image: Stock