KENYA – The second-largest wind power farm in Kenya Kipeto Energy, has announced that it will start feeding electricity to the national grid beginning next week having connected the Kipeto wind farm to the national grid and would now gradually start testing and switching on the turbines.

Kipeto Energy, in a statement, said it had connected a 17km (220KV) high-voltage transmission line, linking the wind plant to the national grid at the Isinya Sub-station, and that it was ready to go live.

The wind plant has an installed capacity of 100 megawatts (MW).

“The project comprising 60 wind turbines, each capable of producing 1.7MW, 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,” said the firm in a statement.

Located in Kajiado County in the outskirts of Nairobi, Kipeto is Kenya’s second-largest wind power plant after the Lake Turkana Wind Power in Marsabit County, which has an installed capacity of 310MW.

The other commercial wind power plant is operated by Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) at Ngong, Kajiado County, with a capacity of 25MW.

“The project comprising 60 wind turbines, each capable of producing 1.7MW, 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”

Kipeto Energy has a 20-year power purchase agreement with electricity distributor Kenya Power Company (KP).

“With the assistance of KPLC and Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (Ketraco), this final connection and energisation sees the transmission line and associated equipment being handed over this week to Kenya Power for future care and operation,” said Kenneth Namunje, chairman and director of Kipeto Energy Plc and Craftskills which has a 12 per cent stake in Kipeto Energy.

The balance, 88 per cent, is held by Actis, a UK private equity fund, which acquired the stake in 2018 from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), an investment arm of the World Bank Group, and African Infrastructure Investment Managers, a member of Old Mutual Alternative Investments.

The project has also been funded by long-term debt from the US International Development Finance Corporation, the US government’s development finance institution. 

Kipeto Energy said it created more than 800 jobs during the construction phase.

It expects to create an additional 60 permanent jobs during the operational phase.

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