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100MW Kipeto wind farm in Kenya connected to national grid

THE 100MW Kipeto wind farm in Kenya has successfully been connected to the national grid with generation of power expected soon. Kipeto Energy Plc connected a 17km (220KV) high voltage transmission line, linking the facility to the national grid at the Isinya Substation, and signalling the start of the go-live process.

The project’s 60 GE 1.7-103 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.

According to Kenneth Namunje, chairman and director of Kipeto Energy, with the assistance of KPLC and Ketraco, KEP is delighted that the final connection and energisation sees the transmission line and associated equipment being handed over to KPLC for future care and operation. ‘I would like to thank the local community for their ongoing support of this project, which has been paramount from day one,’ he said.

Robert Skjodt, CEO of BioTherm Energy said that construction of the Kipeto wind project was done to the highest standards with strong support from engineering and construction partners from Worley, China Machinery and Engineering Company and GE, as well as the local community to maintain strict safety protocols throughout construction. ‘We are excited to be contributing to Kenya’s Vision 2030 goals and Big Four Agenda and demonstrating that solar and wind are cheaper sources of electricity than traditional fossil fuel-based power plants with a significant positive impact in the local communities,’ he added.

Located in Kajiado county, Kipeto is Kenya’s second-largest wind power project. It has a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with KPLC, and once it is at full capacity, Kipeto will generate 100MW of clean wind energy, providing power to approximately 250,000 households.

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 percent) and Kenyan company Craftskills Ltd (12 percent) alongside senior debt from the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the US Government’s development finance institution.

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