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Nema seeks public views on 90MW Lamu wind power project

KenGen managing director Mr Eddy Njoroge: We are carrying out further feasibility studies for wind power installation in Isiolo, Lamu and Malindi. Photo/File
KenGen managing director Mr Eddy Njoroge: We are carrying out further feasibility studies for wind power installation in Isiolo, Lamu and Malindi. Photo/File  Nation Media Group

The proposed 90 MW Baharini Electra Wind Farm power project in Lamu has taken a step forward after the National Environment Management Agency (Nema) invited public views on its viability.

In a Kenya Gazette notice, the Nema said it had received the environmental impact assessment report on the proposed project at Mpeketoni Division, Lamu County. It is among a number of wind power projects to be started in Kajiado, Nyandarua and Marsabit and the Coast.

“Electra Winds Kenya Limited intends to construct and operate a wind farm consisting of a maximum of 45 wind turbines (each turbine to generate between 1.8 to three MW) which will generate a total off 90MW,” said Nema in the gazette notice.

Electra Winds Kenya Limited is a subsidiary of Belgian power company Electrawinds NV, which was established in 1998 and has operations specialising in renewable energy projects in several European and African countries.

Kenya has been identified as one of the countries with high potential for wind power generation in Africa with the highest potential around Lake Turkana and a significant potential in the coastal areas.

KenGen has set up a 5.11 MW wind power plant at Ngong Hills, with plans to increase the capacity to 25MW. The company is currently the sole generator of wind power in Kenya.

“In addition to a proposed 100MW wind project in Marsabit we are carrying out further feasibility studies for wind power installation in Isiolo, Lamu and Malindi,” said managing director Eddy Njoroge recently.

The power generated at the Lamu project will be injected into the national grid, and comes at a time when the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco) is putting up a 323km 220 KV power line from Rabai to Lamu at a cost of Sh9 billion.

The Ketraco project is funded by the China Exim Bank under the rural electrification programme, aimed at providing power connection to the upcoming Lamu port and the surrounding infrastructure.

Currently Lamu is not connected to the national power grid and relies on a 2.4MW thermal power generator running on industrial diesel for its power needs.

Kenya is also expected to access some 300 megawatts of wind power from the private investor Lake Turkana Wind Power Project at Loiyangalani at a cost of Sh75 billion, with the power project projected to be fully operational from late 2014.

Prunus Energy, a Kenyan firm, plans to put up a Sh11 billion 50MW wind farm in Ngong Hills, while GE Energy of America has also proposed a 100MW wind farm in Turkana as investors eye the green energy sector.

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