A new 310-megawatt turbine installation coming to one of Kenya’s most remote regions is set to become Africa’s largest wind farm ever – and the biggest Kenyan infrastructure project in 50 years. The Guardian reports the project is being built by Dutch business partners near Lake Turkana – about 600 miles from Nairobi. When completed, the project will provide about 20 percent of the country’s installed electricity generating capacity.
“Everybody thought we were a bunch of looneys because of its size: 301 MW of installed capacity in an area which is extremely remote and where there is nothing,” partner, Carlo van Wageningen told The Guardian. “No roads, no other type of infrastructure: that made it to many people a pipe dream but left us to develop the project unhindered by politics or other interests.”
The project has been in development for some time, as the wind speed was initially thought to be too strong at an average of nearly 27 miles per hour. But further testing revealed the winds were consistent during the day and throughout the year, which gives the plant the potential to generate electricity at nearly double the efficiency of many European wind farms while keeping production costs down.
According to Mugo Kibati, chairman of the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project, this wind farm will have a 62 percent utilization capacity, which is nearly double that of an average wind farm utilization capacity of around 25 to 35 percent.
Via The Guardian