The first shipment of Vestas turbines for the 310 megawatt (MW) Lake Turkana Wind Power project has arrived in the Port of Mombasa.
The turbines are the first of 365 which will be transported by road approximately 1200 km to the wind farm site located in Sarima village in Loiyangalani Division in Marsabit County.
The firm targets to inject the first 90 MW of wind power into the national grid by September this year. When operating at full capacity, Lake Turkana Wind Power is expected to add 310 megawatts of clean energy into Kenya’s grid,enough to power more than two million households.
Phylip Leferink, Lake Turkana Wind Power General Manager, said; “The foundations for the first 30 turbines are ready, as soon as the turbines arrive in Sarima; the task at hand will be to hoist the turbines. For once we will be working against the winds that we intend to harness, but as soon as the turbines are up we are another step closer to producing power.
The completion of the 207 KM all weather road from Laisamis to Sarima village will highly reduce the risk of any delays in transit and we are optimistic that by the end of March, all the offloaded turbines while be on site ready for hoisting”,he explained.
The Marsabit based wind firm which has a 20-year contract to sell electricity at Ksh8.6 per kilowatt/hour (kWh), sits on 40,000 acres of land in an area that receives steady winds throughout the year.
The power will be evacuated and transmitted to the national grid via a double circuit 400kV, 428km transmission line that is currently being constructed by Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (Ketraco)
Currently, Kenya 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.