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Turkana wind power eyes June production

By Reuters | January 19th 2017
Lake Turkana wind power project {Photo Courtesy}

Africa’s biggest wind power scheme, the Lake Turkana Wind Power project in Kenya, should be fully connected to the national electricity grid and producing power by the end of June.

This was revealed yesterday by a director at the consortium building the project.

The scheme had faced a series of setbacks, mostly due to problems securing financing which delayed construction.

Carlo Van Wageningen, founder of the project, said most of its 365 wind turbines had been erected and the last batch of 30 was due to arrive in the port city of Mombasa early next month.

Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems, the world’s biggest wind turbine maker, is supplying the turbines for the $674 million (Sh70 billion) project.

“As of last Friday, we had 299 turbines standing and ready. Of those, we have by tomorrow (Thursday), 120 turbines fully connected to the substation and therefore ready to deliver 110MW of power,” Van Wageningen told Reuters in a phone interview.

“We expect all the turbines to be erected, 365 (of them) by mid-March, and by mid-May latest, all of them will be fully connected to the substation, in readiness for power delivery.”

Kenya is increasing electricity generation and investing in expanding and reinforcing its grid to keep up with growing demand for power and to reduce frequent blackouts.

The east African nation relies heavily on renewables such as geothermal and hydro power for its electricity supply.

Kenya Electricity Generating Co produces the country’s only wind power, but its capacity is just 25.5 MW, whereas the Lake Turkana project will provide 310MW in total, adding to Kenya’s total current power generation capacity of about 2,341 megawatts.

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