Lake Turkana Wind Power project has been approved to earn carbon emissions credits under the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), a senior company official has said.
Construction on the Sh50 billion project is expected to start by December and the the farm is expected to be operational by September 2013.
“We are extremely pleased to have received notification of project registration,” Carlo van Wageningen, Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) chairman, told the media in a statement.
“This is another important milestone for LTWP, and is further confirmation that renewable energy is a viable option for Africa.”
Under carbon offset programmes such as the CDM, companies invest in projects that reduce carbon emissions in developing nations and receive credits called certified emissions reductions (CERs) in return.
The LTWP power farm is expected to reduce emissions by more than 700,000 tonnes in a year – the emissions of over 150,000 saloon cars annually – by substituting fossil fuel-based electricity generation.
The project involves construction of a wind power farm within Loiyangalani, a remote village in the northwest near the Lake Turkana basin. It will comprise 365 turbines each capable of generating 850 kilowatts of energy.
LTWP, a subsidiary of KP&P – a firm from the Netherlands that sets up wind power projects, has pledged to return part of the carbon credit revenue to the Kenyan government. Earlier reports indicate that the government will earn about Sh2 billion from this project.
“It is of great comfort that the government has indicated that it will use such revenue for development activities in the project area,” said van Wageningen.
The LTWP wind power farm will be the fourth project in the country to get approval under the CDM. Other companies with CDM-approved projects in Kenya include Mumias Sugar, KenGen and OrPower.