Wind Power Plant to Boost Realization of Energy Security in Kenya
In a deal that is expected to boost Kenya’s efforts towards realizing energy security, Kipeto Energy Limited (KEL) last month reached a financial agreement to pave the way for construction of a 100 MW of capacity in Kajiado County.
Kipeto Energy, the second largest wind farm in Kenya after Lake Turkana Wind Power, inked a deal worth $233 million with the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to finance its $300 million wind farm that will sit 70km southwest of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.
The debt facility signed in Washington DC between the two entities had a term of 17.5 years. OPIC said that it is committed to the deal in regards its policy to supporting private investment and hoped that the deal would add a reliable source of energy to Kenya’s national grid.
“By addressing some of the most pressing development needs from power to transportation infrastructure, the projects will be hugely impactful engines of economic growth and stability throughout Kenya,” said OPIC CEO Ray Washburne.
KEL also agreed with Worley Parson to manage the 22-month development on its behalf, while China Machinery Engineering Corp (CMEC) won the bid to construct the farm.
In the plan, power tapped from wind turbines will be channeled through underground cables to KEL’s substation and in turn, transferred to Kenya’s national grid.
The local community near the project, largely the Maasai, will benefit from 5% of annual dividends once the plant starts operations as planned in 2020.
With the implementation of such projects, Kenya stands to gain a lot by diversifying energy mix with a reduced over-reliance on fossil fuels which are prone to a price increase and a not steady supply.
Wind energy has become an essential player in the world’s energy mix as it represents a mainstream source of energy of new power generation.
Due to its technical maturity and speed of deployment, wind power has been acknowledged globally as one of the current leading energy technologies. As an inexhaustible and free energy source, wind energy could meet entire energy needs worldwide if adequately tapped and utilized.
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