by David Musyoka
NAIROBI, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP), Africa’s largest wind power plant, said Tuesday that it was currently in a position to produce up to 33 percent of its expected target of 310 MW ahead of the 2017 deadline.
Officials said a total of 347 out of 365 turbines had already been erected, a clear indication that the project is on course for completion as per its original plan by June.
The firm’s general manager Phylip Leferink said the remaining 20 turbines have already been delivered on site.
“Assembly of the turbines began in March 2016 and all 365 are expected to be up and running by June,” Leferink said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
The total cost of the project is estimated at 700 million U.S. dollars, said Leferink, adding that the firm targets to have an annual generation capacity of 1.6 billion kilowatt hour (kWh), with the tariff rate set at 8.6 Kenyan shillings per kWh.
A double circuit 400-kV, 438-km transmission line is currently being constructed by Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco).
The line will evacuate the electricity from the 40,000-acre wind farm to the national grid via the Suswa sub-station.
On completion, the Marsabit-based wind firm, which is arguably the biggest wind farm on the continent, will produce enough energy to power an additional 1 million Kenyan households.
Once Lake Turkana Wind Power is fully operational it will add 310 MW of renewable generation capacity to Kenya’s grid.
Kenya, which relies heavily on renewables such as geothermal and hydro-power, aims to expand installed capacity to about 6,700 MW by 2017, up from 1,700 MW in 2013.