Turkana Wind Farm – A quick overview of the Sh72bn project

Engineers work on a turbine foundation at the LTWP project site in Marsabit County.
Engineers work on a turbine foundation at the LTWP project site in Marsabit County. PHOTO/FILE
The Lake Turkana Wind Power Project (LTWP) involves construction of a Sh72 billion wind farm in Loiyangalani, a remote village in northern Kenya near the Lake Turkana basin.

The wind farm, which sits on 40,000 acres, is being developed by the LTWP – a consortium comprising KP&P Africa B.V. and Aldwych International as co-developers, Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund), Wind Power A.S. (Vestas), Industrial Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) and Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation Ltd (Finnfund).

The wind farm will comprise 365 turbines, each capable of generating 850 kilowatts of energy. The turbines will be supplied by Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems, which will also provide the maintenance of the plant.

LTWP, which is solely responsible for the financing, construction and operation of the wind farm, will transmit 310MW to the national grid through a 428 km overhead line that is being constructed by the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco) with concessional funding from the Spanish government.

The electricity will be sold to Kenya Power, the country’s sole power distributor, over a 20-year period in accordance with a signed Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

Kenya Power will pay a tariff of Sh9 per kilowatt hour, which is nearly half of the Sh16 that consumers are paying on increased use of the fuel driven generators to feed the national grid.

The wind plant, which will be the largest in Africa on completion, was due to start generating power in June 2011 but the project stalled after the World Bank declined to provide guarantees to its financiers.

However in May, 11 multi-lateral lenders among them the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), Standard Bank, PTA Bank, European Investment Bank and East Africa Development Bank signed a loan for the wind farm – giving the ambitious project a new lifeline.

Construction of the Lake Turkana wind farm is expected to begin in April and the facility is scheduled to be fully operational early 2017.

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