Construction of a multi-billion wind power plant in Kinangop has been halted following a series of protests by surrounding communities.
The Kinangop Wind Power Park was to provide 60.8 megawatts of wind electricity to the national grid at a cost of Sh15 billion, which was expected to boost consumption of renewable energy and consequently translate into cheap electricity.
According to the proprietors, construction of the power plant has been prevented by protests from the community since May 2014, costing the shareholders Sh6.7 billion ($66 million) to meet project costs and pursue other avenues to move forward with the project.
“The impact of the initial civil commotion has not been resolved while further incidents have occurred, creating an unsafe environment for the team to implement the project. Furthermore, due to the consequent material delay, projects funds have been depleted and the project can no longer be completed by the shareholders,” reads a statement from Kinangop Wind Power Park.
Kinangop Wind Power Park received a generation licence from the energy regulatory commission (ERC) in November 2013.
The project is backed by African Infrastructure Investment Fund and Norfund, the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries.
It was to be implemented by Aelous Kenya Limited, a locally operating firm specialising in development of energy and infrastructure projects.
Last year, Kinangop Wind Park blamed political leaders for inciting locals against offering way leaves for construction of the power plant, putting the projects on the verge of collapse.
The tussle saw ten residents sue the project proprietors, the National Environment Management Authority, the ministry of energy, county governments of Nakuru and Nyandarua, the Attorney General and the Inspector-General of Police.
They alleged that the land for the project had been fraudulently acquired and that the undertaking did not meet international standards hence posing a health hazard to the community.
Wind electricity accounts for less than 2 per cent of the country’s energy mix with less than 30 megawatts on the national grid.