This week, all of the 60 turbines at the Kipeto wind farm reached commercial operation and are now producing power to the national grid. This makes the project Kenya’s second-largest wind power project providing power to the equivalent of approximately 250,000 households.
Dr Kenneth Namunje, Chairman and Director of Kipeto Energy Plc and Director of Craftskills, commented: “Today is a proud day for Kipeto and the local community of Kajiado as we enter into commercial operation after a 12-year journey.”
The announcement was made by Pan-African developer BTE Renewables and Kenyan-owned renewable developer Craftskills. Kipeto is BTE Renewables’ fifth project to reach commercial operations in the last year, now having 384MW in operations in Kenya and South Africa.
Namunje added: “I am very grateful for the ongoing support of the community of Kajiado, which has been paramount for our success. Now we are providing clean and sustainable energy for the people of Kenya with the support of KPLC and Ketraco.”
Kipeto wind farm’s journey
The Kipeto wind farm project reached financial close in December of 2018, connected to the grid in January 2021 and has now reached commercial operation with all 60 wind turbines under the 20 year Power Purchase Agreement with Kenyan utility, KPLC.
The project is funded by equity from Actis-backed BTE Renewables (88%) and Kenyan-owned Craftskills Limited (12%). The senior debt is from the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the US Government’s development finance institution.
The African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) is providing an on-demand insurance product for the project. Kipeto has further partnered with USAID Power Africa in developing its Biodiversity Action Plan.
Robert Skjodt, CEO of BTE Renewables, commented: “The completion of Kipeto is a testament to the strong and spirited resilience of the Kipeto team, and the support and dedication of our engineering and construction partners Worley, China Machinery and Engineering Company and GE.
“Further, the completion during these challenging times required support from KPLC, Ketraco, and the community of Kajiado. As BTE Renewables, we are immensely proud of now having completed five wind and solar projects under these very challenging circumstances.”