President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya was on hand Friday for the launch of the Lake Turkana wind energy project, which is expected to increase the country’s electricity supply by an estimated 13 percent.
The project, the largest in Africa, has an installed capacity of 310 megawatts of clean renewable energy, and will reduce Kenya’s reliance on thermal and hydropower.
“For the wind project energy to be connected to the national grid, we also undertook the construction of the 400-kilowatt, 538-kilometer transmission lines,” Kenyatta said. They run from Loiyangalani to Suswa, and were also celebrated during the commissioning of the facility.
The site includes 365 wind turbine generators, transformers and related infrastructure. It was connected to the national grid in December.
So far, in the last eight months, the plant has produced more than 1.2 billion kilowatt hours (KWh) of electricity, Kenyatta said. Along with two smaller wind and solar facilities at Garissa and Ngong, the Lake Turkana facility boosts Kenya’s installed power capacity to 2,712 megawatts, up from 1,768 in March 2013.
“Kenya is without doubt on course to be a global leader in renewable energy,” Kenyatta said. “”This will not only ensure that our nation’s scenic beauty and unique ecosystems are preserved and protected for both present and future generations, but will also ensure that we become energy independent and that our energy supply will be safe as well as predictable.”
Image: Lake Turkana Wind Power