15 October 2012 – Kenya’s national long term plan, Vision 2030, the development blueprint that aims to transform the country into a newly industrialising, middle-income nation with a high quality of life for all its citizens by 2030, has endorsed the Lark Turkana wind power project. Capital FM Business in Kenya reports that the Vision 2030 board was to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Lake Turkana Wind Power, endorsing the largest single private investment in Kenya’s history that amounts to US$880 million.
The project will provide 300 MW of reliable, low cost wind power to the Kenyan national grid, equivalent to about 20% of the current installed electricity generating capacity. The wind farm site, covering 40,000 acres is located in Loyangalani district, west of Marsabit county, in north-eastern Kenya.
The government’s least cost development power plan shows that the Lake Turkana wind project will be one of the least cost power generation options available in the country along with geothermal power and at even less cost than the feed in tariff for other wind projects.
The project, which will comprise 365 turbines each with an 850 kW capacity, will replace the need for Kenya to spend some US$195 million annually on fuel imports.The project also includes the upgrading of the existing road from Laisamis to the wind farm site, a distance of approximately 204km, as well as an access road network in and around the site for construction, operations and maintenance.
The Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco), with concessional funding from the Spanish government, is constructing a double circuit 400 kV, 428 kilometre transmission line to deliver the wind farm’s power along with that of any future power projects in the area to the national grid.