Kenya launches Africa’s biggest wind power plant in Loiyangalani
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday launched Africa’s biggest wind power plant that will deliver 310 megawatts of renewable energy to the national grid, effectively cutting on power costs for consumers.
The $680-million project, a sprawling 365-turbine wind farm on the eastern shores of Lake Turkana is the largest private investment in Kenya’s history.
The project, lying in a natural corridor dubbed “the windiest place on earth”, is promised to harness this endless power at low cost.
“Without the wind power project, the fuel cost charge would have been as high as Sh5.75kwh in May 2019. As compared to Sh3.75 pkwh the cost that was applied in that particular month,” Kenyatta said, and added “As we unveil Africa’s single largest wind power, this monumental project comprising 365 wind turbines of 850 KW each, with total installed capacity of 310MW.”
The Lake Turkana wind plant, connected through a 428-kilometre power line to the national grid in Suswa, is now generating 15 percent of Kenya’s entire installed capacity, according to officials in the energy sector.
The plant, boasting of 365 wind turbines with a capacity of 850 kilovolts each, will deliver 310 megawatts of clean energy to the national grid.
LTWP project board Chairman Mugo Kibati told Capital FM News the project undertaken though public-private partnership will have wide-raging benefits for the country.
Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (KETRACO) indicated the country will save Sh1 billion annually in fuel imports used to generate electricity.
To evacuate power from the Loiyangalani sub-station to Suswa, in Narok County, the KETRACO set up a 438km long transmission line.
It traverses through five counties which will now be connected to the national grid.
Kibati said high economic growth is expected to be witnessed along the areas the transmission line passes through.
“We will have viable projects that were not viable before,” he asserted.
The main objective of the project is to provide clean, reliable, low cost power by increasing Kenya’s national power generation capacity by approximately 17 per cent.