Africa’s largest wind farm set for construction in Kenya

6 Jul 2015

Kenya is aiming to make itself the country to look to when it comes to introducing wind power on a national scale, with the news that construction has started on Africa’s largest wind farm, powering one-fifth of the country’s entire energy needs.

Details of the project were first revealed back in December 2014, but now construction on the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project has begun; when completed the wind farm will cover 40,000 acres near the country’s famous lake.

According to Quartz, the wind farm will consist of 365 wind turbines taking advantage of the low-level jet stream that flows into the east African country from the Indian Ocean.

When up and running, it will achieve a load capacity of 68pc, which will make it the most efficient wind farm in the entire world.

Over the course of the next three years, the Kenyan government has plans to add 5,000MW to the national grid in an effort to lessen its dependency on imported fossil fuels and has agreed with those running the wind farm to keep prices fixed for at least 20 years.

This marks the first major investment from the European Union (EU) for an African wind farm totalling US$690m (€625m) as, until now, almost all of the major energy investments on the continent have come from China.

Lake Turkana, Kenya image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic