Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Lake Turkana Wind Power eyes 2016 for first output

25 June 2015, 16:00

Lake Turkana - Kenya's Lake Turkana Wind Power project aims to start supplying some electricity as early as September 2016, once a transmission line is built linking the remote northern region to the national grid, a director of the project said on Wednesday.

The 310 megawatt (MW) project, originally aimed for start-up in 2011, has been delayed in part because it was awaiting a 428-km high-voltage line linking the area. The transmission line was approved in August 2014 and will take about two years to build.

Carlo Van Wageningen, a director of Lake Turkana Wind Power, told Reuters production could start in September 2016 with up to 90 MW of capacity, "provided the transmission line is ready".

The full 310 MW capacity, to be delivered by 365 wind turbines, would be in place by June or July 2017, he said, rivalling other big African wind schemes in Morocco and Egypt.

Kenya, which relies heavily on renewables such as geothermal and hydro power, aims to expand installed capacity to about 6,700 MW by 2017, up from 1,700 MW in 2013.

Kenyan businesses regularly complain that power cuts and unreliable supplies make them uncompetitive and hurt growth.

The project in the Lake Turkana area, lying in a corridor of land that receives steady winds throughout the year, is spread over 40,000 acres (162 sq km). But the company could build on a further 110,000 acres.

"If we used the same technology, we could have 1,000 MW," said Van Wageningen. "This corridor is constantly affected by winds. It is very predictable."

As a result, the load factor, a calculation of the average level at which installed capacity is used, will be about 62 percent, much higher than many European wind farms where load factors are usually around the 25 to 30 percent mark.

This means it can sell power to the Kenya Power Company more cheaply than many other nations.

The project has a 20-year deal to sell electricity at 7.52 euro cents per kilowatt/hour (kWh), while rates in Europe can be 11 to 14 euro cents per kWh, said Van Wageningen. "That is why they need a subsidy," he added.

"The problem here is logistics," he said, adding a 204-km road to the barren region was being upgraded, partly financed by the Dutch government.

Challenges in transporting turbines 1,200 km from Mombasa port to the Lake Turkana region meant those to be used in the project were smaller than some now built in Europe.

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Kenya says will return to interna...

Kenya will return to international markets to borrow when it feels the time is right, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said on Tuesday. Read more...

Submitted by
George Vodongo
China to help Kenya fight high le...

China observed that if left unchecked, corruption could see the country degenerate into lawlessness. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
Signs that he is seeing someone e...

When a man wants to be with you, he will always create time to be with you. Read more...

Submitted by
George Vodongo
Spat between DP Ruto and Boniface...

A close associate of the DP, Hon Njogu Barua made an alarming comment on live TV Tuesday morning. Read more...

Submitted by
Ben Wangui
Matatu driver who drugged, robbed...

The driver of a Nissan matatu who over the weekend drugged and robbed a female passenger in Nairobi has been charged. Read more...

Submitted by
Gabriel Ngallah
Heavy police contingent deployed ...

More police officers were on Monday deployed at Likoni in Mombasa County in a security operation to nab members of the ‘Wakali Kwanza’ and ‘Mtalia’ criminal gangs who have been terrorizing locals in the area. Read more...