Power generator KenGen is to build a 400-megawatt wind power plant in Meru beginning next year.
The first phase of the project that will generate 100 megawatts (MW) will cost $270 million (Sh26.5 billion) and is to be completed before the end of 2017.
Two financiers, French Development Agency (AfD) and German Development Bank (KfW), are in the country conducting due diligence on the project before committing financial support.
“The lenders are on site this week to conduct due diligence on the project. The first phase of the project for a 50MW–100MW project will be financed through concessional funding,” KenGen’s managing director, Albert Mugo, said in a statement seen by the Nation.
A feasibility study conducted a few years ago indicated that there is adequate wind in Meru to generate up to 400MW of power. In October last year, the firm signed a memorandum of understanding with Meru County to acquire land to develop 400MW of wind power.
LARGEST WIND FARM
The initial pahse of the Meru Wind Farm Project is scheduled to be completed in December 2017 and is to be the largest wind farm in the country.
A group of private investors, with the support of a consortium of lenders including the African Development Bank and Standard Bank, is developing the 300MW Lake Turkana Wind Power Project in northern Kenya.
“We see a lot of potential in wind power. It is likely to become a big thing in Kenya and we are part of a group of businesses taking leadership in wind power development in the country,” Mr Mugo said.
The power producer, which has a wind farm generating 25.5MW in Ngong’, is diversifying to cheaper and renewable sources of power production using wind and steam in a bid to reduce the more expensive diesel-generated energy.
KenGen intends to use up to $1.3 billion (Sh127 billion) mainly in concessional funding over the next two to four years on renewable energy projects in the country. This is part of the government’s plan to generate 5000MW of power by 2018.