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Transmission link delays launch of Kenya's 310-MW wind farm - report

Lake Turkana wind farm in Kenya, Sept 22, 2016

June 8 (Renewables Now) - Commissioning of the 310-MW Lake Turkana wind farm in Kenya will be delayed until 2018 as construction of the transmission lines to the power grid has been obstructed, an official from turbine supplier Vestas (CPH:VWS) told Reuters.

The company expects the launch early next year, Nils de Baar, the Vestas head for Central Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, told the news agency on Wednesday. Power generation was planned to commence this month as the wind farm is already fully built.

The 428-km (266-mile) transmission link associated with the wind farm is being built by Kenyan national grid company Ketraco. It will connect the outskirts of Nairobi to Loyangalani near the project site. Work on it was planned to be completed by October 2016 but has been lagging behind schedule due to various issues, including demands for compensation from landowners.

Danish firm Vestas Wind Systems A/S has installed 365 units of V52-850 kW turbines at the wind farm. Construction of the facility, worth KES 70 billion (USD 678 million/EUR 602m) was completed in March “under a year and 2 months ahead of schedule,” Vestas previously said.

When up and running, the 310-MW complex will be able to generate enough power for about 330,000 local homes, accounting for 15% of Kenya’s total power production.

In 2014 it was announced that the African Development Bank (AfDB) would provide a partial risk guarantee of EUR 20 million (USD 22.5m) for the transmission link to the Lake Turkana wind farm so that the wind project developer would be compensated even if the network was not ready by the time the plant starts power generation.

(KES 100 = USD 0.967/EUR 0.967)

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Veselina Petrova is one of SeeNews Renewables most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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