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Wind power: East Africa reaps rewards following Obama visit

Pic credit: archiexpo.com
GE Africa announces the development of a $155m wind power plant during Obama’s visit to Kenya. Pic credit: archiexpo.com

In East Africa, GE Africa announced over the weekend that it will be partnering with Kipeto Energy Ltd to develop a $155 million (ZAR2 billion) wind power plant in the Kajiado County, Kenya.

The announcement, which was made during US President Barack Obama’s recent visit to Kenya, highlighted that the US multinational conglomerate will be the sole supplier of equipment for the 100MW wind power project.

Technology & Finance

According to GE, the wind power project will be financed by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation as sole lender to the project.

The project will include 60 GE 1.7-103 wind turbines and a 15-year service agreement, GE said in a statement.

The Kipeto wind power project is expected to increase the east African country’s power capacity, which currently only powers around 20% of the population.

Kipeto Energy shareholders include Africa Infrastructure Investment Managers, Craftskills Wind Energy International Limited, International Finance Corporation and the Maasai community of Kipeto.

Round 3 of the Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge

In other news, the expansion of Round 3 of the Power Africa Off-Grid Challenge was announced by the African subsidiary of the US conglomerate in collaboration with the US African Development Foundation and the US Agency for International Development.

This round is open to entrepreneurs and energy companies in Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia.

A total of $1.1 million (ZAR13 million) in grants will be awarded.

According to GE, the three-year initiative has facilitated $5 million (ZAR63 million) and 50 awards to energy entrepreneurs in eleven African countries.

Jay Ireland, president and CEO of GE Africa commented: “GE’s capability and global expertise in power generation, healthcare, rail transportation, water, oil and gas, and aviation industries allows us to play a significant role as a partner in the development of Africa.

“This expertise also allows us to share knowledge and build skills of local employees in this critical sectors. We have an opportunity and a responsibility.”



Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.