NAIROBI, KENYA: President Uhuru Kenyatta will on Wednesday commission Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) in Marsabit County.
LTWP, which is the largest wind farm in Africa, has an installed capacity of 310MW of clean, reliable, low-cost energy and has 365 wind turbines with a capacity of 850kW each.
The power plant started feeding electricity to the national electricity grid late September 2017 when it was handed the power transmission line that evacuates power from the plant to the grid in Suswa, Narok County.
A statement from State House on Tuesday noted that coming on board of LTWP is a testament of Kenya's commitment to pursue clean sources of energy. It is also a major boost to the country's international commitments to lower greenhouse gas emissions.
“Globally, Kenya is celebrated as one of the leading countries in the world with an energy mix dominated with renewable sources especially from geothermal, a technology in which our country has become a continental centre of excellence,” reads the statement.
Further, the successful implementation of LTWP demonstrates Kenya's outstanding credentials as an investment destination in Africa and is a perfect example of the immense potential of the public-private partnership model of implementing development projects.
According to the ministry of energy, there was an installed capacity of 2,712 Megawatts with the country consuming a maximum of 1,860 Megawatts leaving a surplus of about 900 Megawatts.
“It is the biggest wind power in Africa that will generate 310 Megawatts at a low cost,” said Ms Kanze Dena, State House Spokesperson on Tuesday during a press briefing.
She added, “It is part of the plan by the president to hit 100 per cent of clean energy by next year.”
Asked whether Government had plans of abandoning the cancelled Lamu Coal plant, Kanze said there were consultations on the matter and she could not comment further.
“There have been consultations going on, that is why we are launching the wind power,” she responded.
The National Environment Tribunal on June 26 suspended the state-hyped Sh200 billion project saying the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) had illegally issued the environmental impact assessment license.
The court found that there was a lack of public participation in the 1,050 Megawatts Chinese-backed project that was to be located near Unesco World Heritage Site in Lamu.
The Tribunal said if Amu Power Plant, which had been licensed, wished to proceed with the project; fresh environmental impact assessment had to be conducted.
Environmentalists had strongly opposed the project that was set to start in 2015 claiming it would cause air pollution, destroy mangroves and damage breeding grounds for turtles, fish and other marine lives.
The court ruling was a blow to the state considering the anticipated energy that it was expected to produce.
Uhuru’s launch of the wind power plant follows a signal by Britain, which sent its representative last week to inspect UK’s conservation projects in the country.