Kenya’s second largest wind power project, Kipeto Energy (KEP), has announced its connection of the Kipeto wind farm to the national grid. The new connection will start generating power beginning February 2021.
KEP has connected a 17km (220KV) high voltage transmission line, linking the facility to the national grid at the Isinya Substation, signaling the start of the go-live process. The project has 60 wind turbines, each capable of producing 1.7MW. The turbines will be switched on in stages as part of a gradual ramp up process, with all commercial tests due to be concluded within the next few months.
KEP has a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with KPLC, and once it is at full capacity, the project will generate 100MW of clean wind energy for the Kenyans, providing power to the equivalent of approximately 250,000 households. This will be a significant contribution to Kenya’s Vision 2030 and Big Four Agenda.
Dr. Kenneth Namunje, Chairman and Director of Kipeto Energy Plc and Director of Craftskills said, “Now, with the assistance of KPLC and Ketraco, we’re delighted that this final connection and energization sees the transmission line and associated equipment being handed over this week to KPLC for future care and operation.”
The Kipeto project reached financial close in December of 2018, marking the beginning of its two-year construction phase. The project is funded by equity from Actis-backed BioTherm Energy (88%) and Kenyan company Craftskills Ltd (12%) alongside senior debt from the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the US Government’s development finance institution.
KEP leased and secured more than 60 plots within the project area for the wind turbine footprint and the transmission line through voluntary participation of land owners. It has also undertaken a number of local initiatives, including constructing new housing for local families outside the project’s 500m buffer zone.
To ensure international environmental standards were followed, KEP has worked with specialist consultants during both the planning and development stages of the project to undertake a series of environmental assessments and impact studies. With support from USAID Power Africa, Kipeto developed and initiated a Biodiversity Action Plan, which is designed around the international best practice outlined in the IFC Environmental and Social Performance standards.