The first batch of turbines for the 310-megawatt Lake Turkana Wind Power plant have arrived at the Mombasa port, taking the country closer to reaping cheap power from wind.
The shipment of the 30 turbines lays the ground for the expected injection of first 50 MW of wind power to the national grid in September.
Electricity from the wind farm in northern county of Marsabit will cost Sh8.6 per unit (8.5 US cents) or half that from diesel generators.
The full 310-megawatt capacity of the power-generation project, to be delivered by 365 wind turbines, is expected to be in place by July 2017.
Denmark-based Vestas is the supplier and installer of the turbines.
UK-based company Aldwych International is the single largest investor in the Sh70 billion wind project with a 30.7 per cent stake. Google has a 12.5 per cent stake after pumping in Sh4 billion last October.
The farm sits on 40,000 acres of land in an area that receives steady winds throughout the year.
Lake Turkana Wind Power Ltd, the company developing the wind farm, will sell electricity to Kenya Power at Sh8.6 under a 20-year power purchase agreement.
This makes it the third cheapest power source in Kenya after geothermal energy at Sh7 per unit and hydropower which is the cheapest at Sh3 per unit.
Thermal generators are the most expensive at Sh18.
“The foundations for the first 30 turbines are ready, as soon as the turbines arrive in Sarima; the task at hand will be to hoist the turbines,” Lake Turkana Wind Power general manager Phylip Leferink said in a statement.