11 January 2012 – Wind turbine supplier Vestas has confirmed that it and Lake Turkana Wind Power have signed a conditional order agreement. Since a key indicator of the viability of a wind project is the willingness of a supplier to make such a commitment, it is a further indication that construction of the 310 MW wind farm in Kenya could go ahead soon.
According to Carlo van Wageningen who chairs the consortium developing the Lake Turkana wind project, financial due diligence is expected to be completed by April this year.
The project, which entails building the large wind farm within Loiyangalani, a remote region in north-western Kenya near the Lake Turkana basin, could begin generating electricity after 2013. The wind farm will consist of 365 Vestas V52 turbines, each with a capacity of 850 kW.
The project is unusual in that its remoteness entails the construction of several hundreds of kilometres of transmission line, and to justify the investment in that infrastructure it entails the building of a very large wind farm. However, the site chosen will provide the wind farm with an exceptionally high capacity factor in wind power terms (an availability of 66% is possible) with output from the 310 MW wind farm rarely expected to drop below 170 MW.
The project is anticipated to be 46% cheaper than the current average power mix cost in Kenya.