Kenya’s Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) farm recently injected 307 megawatts (MW) of clean energy into Kenya’s national grid at a time when the East African nation has a demand of 1,800 MW.
The farm’s development also comes at a time when Kenya is projected to have an electricity demand of 3600 MW by the year 2020.
The Lake Turkana Wind Power Project is the single largest private investment in Kenya’s history. The wind farm, touted as the largest in Africa, covers 160 square kilometers and is located in Loiyangalani District, in Kenya’s Marsabit County.
“This is an incredible achievement to be celebrated by our team, our partners and the country as a whole,” the project’s representatives commented following the announcement this week.
The famous Turkana wind farm is located in Marsabit wilderness, in Northern Kenya and receives steady wind speeds throughout the year, making it the best location in the region for wind power harvesting.
Electricity from the wind farm costs 8.53-euro cents (approximately Ksh9.9), which is almost in the same range as the cost of geothermal power.
On January 13th, 2019, the farm had hit 99% electricity generation for the first time since its launch four months ago.
The wind farm is providing reliable, low cost energy to Kenya’s national grid and accounts for approximately 17% of the country’s installed capacity, which will be bought at a fixed price by utility firm, Kenya Power & Lighting Company Ltd over a 20-year period.
The project is the result of a joint venture between energy and financial services companies, KP&P Africa B.V and Aldwych International as co-developers; Investment Fund for Developing Countries; Vestas Eastern Africa Limited; The Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation Ltd; KLP Norfund Investments AS and Sandpiper.
According to the African Development Bank (AfDB), a regional lender keen to see the project succeed, the initiative will benefit Kenya by providing clean and affordable energy that will reduce the overall energy cost to end consumers.
The project will also allow Kenya’s landlocked Great Rift Valley region to be connected to the rest of the country through the improved infrastructure linked to the wind farm, including a road, fibre-optic cable and electrification.
It will also contribute in filling the country’s energy gap, saving 16 million tons of harmful CO2 emission compared to a fossil fuel power plant.