December 18 (Renewables Now) - The 100-MW Kipeto wind project in Kajiado, Kenya has reached financial close, London-based private equity firm Actis, which now holds an 88% stake in the scheme, said today.
Actis has purchased the equity stakes in the wind farm project held by the International Finance Corp (IFC) and African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), a member of Old Mutual Alternative Investments. Kenyan firm Craftskills Wind Energy International holds the remaining 12%.
AIIM and IFC InfraVentures co-developed the project with Craftskills from 2014 until early this year. Kipeto Energy Ltd is the project company.
The US government’s development finance institution, Overseas Private Investment Corp (OPIC), is the principal lender to the project. Kipeto has also secured a 10-year standby revolving and on-demand insurance cover from the African Trade Insurance Agency to protect against the risk of payment delays by the off-taker. The wind farm will be selling its output under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Kenya Power and Lighting (KPLC), signed back in 2016.
Preparations are ongoing for the start of construction of the wind farm’s 60 wind turbines of the GE 1.7-103 model, to be supplied by GE Renewable Energy. The latter will also provide operation and maintenance (O&M) services. China Machinery Engineering Corp is the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor.
“We have leased and secured more than 60 plots within the project area for the wind turbine footprint and the transmission line through voluntary participation of land owners, which is a first for any project of this kind in Kenya, and we’re constructing new houses for the families outside the project’s 500m buffer zone, so local buy-in has been a vital component,” Kenneth Namunje, director of Craftskills and chairman and director of Kipeto Energy, said.
A transmission line of 17 km will be built to connect the park to the Isinya substation in Kajiado county.