Kenya is now home to Africa’s largest wind power project

lake turkana wind power project kenya

Kenya is now home to Africa’s largest wind farm.

Inaugurated on Friday, the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project located well north of capital Nairobi is now fully operational, pumping an additional 310MW of power into the country’s grid.

The privately-funded project itself cost $680-million (R9.47-billion), and saw the erection of 365 wind turbines in the Turkana Corridor — a natural wind tunnel created by the Ethiopian and Kenyan highlands.

The last turbine was completed in March 2017, but the project only became commercially active this year.

Power will be sold to the Kenya Power & Lighting Company at a fixed price for 20 years, providing the country with around 17% of its power needs.

According to an African Development Bank report (pdf), the project is set to decrease the country’s carbon footprint by 16-million tonnes in its lifespan.

What about South Africa’s wind power projects?

According to the South African Wind Energy Association, more than 3700MW of wind power has been connected to the national grid thus far through 62 independent power producer’s projects.

Sere, Eskom’s largest wind farm located north of the Western Cape town of Vredendal, produces up to 100MW of power. The 46 turbine plant was the power utility’s first venture into electricity generated by wind.

It’s believed to decrease South Africa’s carbon footprint by five million tonnes during its first 20 years.

The country’s largest wind farm is located in the Eastern Cape, just northeast of the town of Cookhouse. Owned in part by Old Mutual, this farm produces 138MW of power.

Feature image: The project and its installed turbines in June 2016, by Lake Turkana Wind Power

Andy Walker, former editor


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