The Kinangop Wind Farm in Kenya, developed by Aeolus Kenya and constructed by Iberdrola Engineering, will be powered by 38 GE (NYSE:GE) 1.6-megawatt (MW) wind turbines. The Kinangop facility will be one of the largest wind power generation projects to be built to date in sub-Saharan Africa. Following its commissioning, the 61-MW wind farm will generate enough renewable electricity to power the equivalent of 150,000 homes in the country.
GE has had a long and successful collaboration with Iberdrola, spanning nearly 100 years, having developed energy projects together in all countries where Iberdrola has a footprint. In Kenya, Nairobi Ring, a large-scale grid upgrade for the Kenya Electricity Transmission utility also was announced as another collaboration between the companies. Nairobi Ring is a new electricity distribution system including a high-voltage network, four new substations and the extension of the city’s largest existing substation.
“The Kinangop wind farm project strengthens our presence in Africa and particularly in Kenya, where the expansion in power capacity needs to be balanced with the reliability of the supply. GE's 1.6-MW wind turbines are a great fit for Kenya’s robust wind conditions and for the advancements in serviceability and grid integration,” said Iberdrola Engineering.
“The development of this large-scale wind park has been a challenging and rewarding process and all our efforts have yielded a positive outcome for Kenya in its ongoing efforts to improve energy security. GE’s 1.6-MW wind turbines will provide reliable, cost-effective and efficient generation of a cleaner source of power over the lifetime of the project,” said Richard Herbert, chief executive, Aeolus Kenya.GE also will provide operations and maintenance for the wind farm through a full-service agreement (FSA) with Kinangop Wind Park Limited for 10 years. The agreement will help the Kinangop wind farm achieve high wind turbine operating performance and life with predictive condition monitoring services, unplanned maintenance coverage and other advanced services. GE also will train local technicians and provide technical advisory support for connecting the wind farm to the grid. Kenya’s population of 43 million is experiencing tremendous growth. According to the “ Tariff Structures for Sustainable Electrification in Africa” report, roughly 16-18 percent of the Kenyan population has access to electricity. Over the last six years, electricity demand has increased by an average of 7 percent per annum, and the energy demand forecast for 2010-2030 is rising from 7.4 TWh in 2009 to 92 TWh in 2030. This corresponds to an annual increase in demand of 12.8 percent. “We are pleased to make our debut into the Kenyan power sector. GE’s advanced wind technology will help provide cost-effective power to the economy and contribute to the social development of Kenya,” said Cliff Harris, general manager for GE's European, Middle East and Africa renewable energy business. The facility will benefit from around-the-clock remote monitoring and diagnostics through GE’s global wind monitoring center in Salzbergen, Germany, which monitors wind turbines in Europe, Africa and Asia.