Wind power in Kenya contributes only a small amount of the country's electrical power. However, its share in energy production is increasing. Kenya aims to generate 2,036 MW of wind power, or 9% of the country's total capacity, by 2030. With the project expected to match approximately 18% of the current national grid electricity-generation capacity, the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project (LTWP) shall become a renewable energy gem in the East African continuum. It is the largest innovation that has been privately fully-financed; through a consortium of partners that includes KP&P Africa B.V. and Aldwych International. The financing of this project is a 28% financing increment of the Ngong Hills Wind Farm which was commissioned 3 years ago, and which was financed to the tune of KES 1.7 billion (USD 16.8 million).
The LTWP is the single-largest private investment in Kenya’s history. The wind power project is located at Sarima village, Loiyangalani District, Marsabit County (northeastern Kenya) and covers a total of 4 hectares (40,000 acres) which is a stretch of about 162Km2. The project has been financed around KES 70 billion (USD 691 million) and with 365 wind turbines (each with a capacity of 850KW) in place, is projected to inject 310 Megawatts of low-cost wind power to the Kenya’s national grid, which is equivalent to about 18% of the country’s generating capacity, and which is enough to power more than two million households.
Since its commissioning, the project has made several strides as it heads towards its official launch. Such milestones include the construction of the project site (which hosts the project offices), delivery of the 30 turbines which are expected to inject 90MW into the national grid by September this year. Beyond this, the project has a number of infrastructural benefits to the locals such as the completion of 207Km off-site and 100Km on-site roads. The graphical tracker below captures the milestones that the project has had since commissioning two years ago.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Beyond the provision of power to the locals, the LTWP has, through the Winds of Change Programme (with a USD 11 million financing over a period of 20 years) brought with it a number of social benefits, such as;
- Enhancing employability through primary/ secondary education support and vocational training support,
- Enhancing access to health services by supporting health education and facilities and,
- Providing water, specifically for the health and employability initiatives to provide a sustainable impact and improve livelihoods. In the medium term this focus will shift to emphasize livelihoods activities.
Winds of Change works in synergy with the county government, local leaders, NGO’s, and government departments in implementing activities to ensure optimal stakeholder engagement, participation and ownership. It aims to for positive sustainable development to enhance livelihoods in the areas surrounding the wind farm. It is anticipated that the planned social investment activities will enable LTWP and its project partners; Vestas, Siemens, SECO and Civicon to become trusted partners in development with the local community around the wind farm and the larger Laisamis constituency.