Kenya's KenGen plans 400-MW wind farm with European backing

Wind turbines. Author: Rex Brown. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic.

NAIROBI, July 2 (SeeNews) - Kenya’s electricity producer, KenGen said Thursday it has plans to set up a 400-MW wind farm in Meru county in eastern Kenya, a phased project to be financed by a consortium of development financiers.

The firm’s CEO Albert Mugo said two financiers -- France’s Development Agency (AfD) and Germany’s Development Bank, KfW -- are in the country this week conducting a due diligence on the project. The site is near the Meru-Isiolo border.

“The first phase for a 50 MW-100 MW project will be financed by concessional funding which is low cost,” Mugo said in a statement issued in Nairobi. He added that KenGen has already put up wind masts which have been collecting data for about three years now.

A Feasibility Study Report from two years ago showed that there is enough wind resources to develop up to 400 MW in phases from the area. The additional data will confirm the scale.

“We have developed internal capacity to implement the wind project. We see a lot of potential in wind power. It is likely to become a big thing in Kenya, and we are part of a group of businesses taking leadership in wind power development in the country,” the CEO said.

KenGen has a 25.5-MW wind farm in Ngong’, which makes it the only producer of wind energy in the country so far. The company is turbning to cheaper sources of energy, starting with its key geothermal projects, in an effort to reduce the country’s reliance on the more expensive diesel-generated energy.  

The Meru Wind Farm Project’s initial phase is to be completed in December 2017 and is expected to be among the largest wind farms in the country.

Wind generation currently constitutes 1% of Kenya's total. This is expected to increase to 11% in line with the government’s strategy of 5000+ MW by the year 2018.

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Browse all articles from Francis Auma

Francis Auma is a business journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with over 15 years in journalism. He hopes to make a difference through stories on energy and is passionate about the environment.

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