Growth of renewable energy is on the rise in Kenya with Lake Turkana Wind Power Project having received a major boost of KES 22 billion from Overseas Private Investment Corporations (OPIC) to add 310 MW to the national grid.Kinangop Wind Park Limited, a local energy company has begun construction of 60.8 MW wind power project in Kinangop, Nyandarua County. It will be constructed by mid 2015 to deliver electricity to 150, 000 Kenyan households. The state utility, Kenya Power will have the power and the project registered under the United Nations Clean Energy Mechanism.
Financially, the project has received $150m from CFC Stanbic bank; a subsidiary of Standard Bank Group signed deal with Aeolus Kenya for the wind power project. Standard Bank as the lead planner has underwritten $90m in debt, while Norway’s Norfund and African Infrastructure Investment Managers, part of South Africa’s Old Mutual Investment Group has provided $60m in equity.
Aurecon South Africa Limited has been appointed by Kinangop Wind Park limited as the main project engineer and African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) as the majority owner. Aurecon will work together with other project partners to ensure the project is delivered in time, within set budget and satisfies levels of reliability of long term operations.
According to Aurecon Renewable Energy Service, Kinangop Wind power farm is an Independent Power Producer (IPP) to be built across sub-Sahara Africa and particularly in Kenya. The project will be undertaken by Iberdola Engineering with General Electricity (GE) providing 381.6 MW wind turbines.
GE will provide maintenance and operations for the wind farm project through a full service agreement with Kinangop Wind Park Limited for 10years helping the wind farm to gain high wind turbine operating performance and life with predictive condition monitoring services, unplanned maintenance coverage and other advanced services.
In addition, GE will train local technicians and provide technical advisory support for connecting the wind farm to the grid.
In this event, there will be reduced cases of power blackouts as Kenya relies mostly on hydroelectric dams for power which tags along high electricity charges during dry season causing power producers to increase the cost of thermal power.