Posted on Tuesday, 28 July 2015 10:31

Kenya Power to buy electricity from proposed 100 MW wind farm

Photo©ReutersKenya Power has signed an agreement to purchase electricity from a 100 megawatt (MW) wind farm whose construction is expected to start later this year, the nation's sole power supplier said on Tuesday.

The electricity would be from the $300 million Kipeto wind farm in the Rift Valley, expected to be built from November and take up to 24 months to finish, Kenya Power said in a statement.

The power firm said the deal would last 20 years but did not say how much it would pay Kipeto for the electricity.

Kenya relies heavily on renewables such as geothermal and hydro power, and aims to expand its installed generation capacity to about 6,700 MW by 2017, from about 2,500 MW now.

East Africa's biggest economy also aims to halve bills from around $0.17-0.18 per kWh in three to four years from now by relying more on renewables than diesel-fired power plants.

Kenya uses costly diesel plants to cover supply shortfalls. General Electric - which has invested $2 million to develop the wind farm - will supply the project's turbines.

The project has secured $233 million from the United States government's Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), as part of the U.S. government's Power Africa programme.

Other investors in the project include the World Bank's investment arm International Finance Corporation and Kenyan renewable energy firm Craftskills Wind Energy International Ltd.

Kenya's Lake Turkana Wind Power project, the nation's first major wind farm, with a capacity of 310 MW could start producing power from September 2016.

The Kenya Electricity Generating Company also plans to construct a 100 MW wind power plant as part of a drive to generate 450 MW in the next three years.

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