Photo: Lake Turkana Wind Power Project Deputy General Manager Caroline Ongeri(Right) and Frank Sprang(Head of Quality Management Department) on site inspecting the project.
Construction of the largest wind farm in Africa is now almost complete.
Crews working on the Marsabit-based wind farm mounted the final blade on the final turbine of the 365-turbine project on Sunday 5th March 2017, achieving a major milestone on the project.
Lake Turkana Wind Power contracted Vestas to set up and install the turbines 4 years ago. The foundations went in first, and were completed in November last year while the first turbine was erected in March 2016,and since then turbines have continued to be assembled and hoisted at the wind farm site, after being transported for over a thousand kilometres from the Port of Mombasa.
The first section of the wind farm comprising 119 turbines (101MW) and the associated 33kV overhead line (OHL), substation and Statcoms have been deemed commissioned and connected to the sub-station on site, in Sarima.
Work is currently underway to connect the remaining turbines to the substation. This is expected to be completed by June 2017.
The 310 MW farm will then go through further commissioning tests once the national grid is in place, later this year.
Speaking on site, Lake Turkana Wind Power’s General Manager, Phylip Leferink said, “We are very pleased that the installation of the wind turbines went on without any hitches. Being able to erect 365 turbines in 365 days is a record that we are very proud of as an organization together with our partner, Vestas ”.
“In addition to the technology that was deployed on the project, the co-operation between all the parties contributed to the successful completion of this herculean task; from transporting the turbines from Mombasa and installing them on the hilly and arid terrains in Loiyangalani District”, he explained.
The investment cost for the Northern Kenya wind farm is Kes 70 billion. The wind farm targets to have an annual generation capacity of 1.6 billion kilowatt hour (kWh), while the tariff rate would be Kes 8.6 per kilowatt/hour (kWh) as per the 20-year long Power Purchase Agreement signed between the wind farm and the government.
Currently, Kenya relies heavily on renewable such as geothermal and hydro-power, and thus the discovery of high quality wind sites across the country and the modernized turbine systems will play a major role in expanding Kenya’s generation capacity. On completion, the wind farm will produce enough energy to power 1 million Kenyan households.