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Review East Africa The Lake Turkana Wind Power Project consortium includes KP&P Africa B.V., Aldwych International Ltd., Vestas Wind Systems A/S and a Norwegian, a Danish and a Finnish fund. The consortium is responsible for the financing, installation and operation of the wind farm. In its capacity as an energy company focussing on Africa, Aldwych will supervise the wind farm’s installation and operation, while Vestas will take on the maintenance and, of course, delivery of the wind turbines. Kenya Power (KPLC) will buy the electricity generated at a fixed price over a time span of 20 years. It is here that the Kenyan feed-in tariffs for wind energy will pay off; Ethiopia is still waiting for such a policy. Logistical and technical challenges Still, Ethiopia and Adama 1 will remain the ones to look up to in East Africa for the time being, especially some 153 MW are being installed nearby at Adama 2. Adama is located 99 km southeast of the capital and lies on the main road leading to Djibouti, the small country on Africa’s eastern coast where all goods including turbines and rotor blades are handled in the port. Heavy-goods vehicles then transport them to the wind farm. One morning, wind turbines on the hillsides outside Adama are at a standstill. There are problems with transmitting power via the national grid, according to engineers from Chinese turbine supplier Goldwind and operator EEPCo, who explain that during grid bottlenecks the electricity from hydropower plants has priority. After all, they provide approximately 90 % of the electricity produced in the country. There is intense activity in the control centre. In the end, the computer screen shows that all wind turbines except two are once again sending electricity to the grid. Because remote switching did not succeed in restarting the last two turbines, service personnel need to head out in their 4 x 4 vehicle in order to switch them on again manually. Experience stimulates growth In Aysha, at the Ethiopian border to Djibouti, a 300 MW wind farm is in the works. It is slated to be completed by the time the five-year plan for growth and transformation expires in late 2015. However, negotiations are still ongoing to finance the three The 51 MW at Adama 1 will be enlarged by 153 MW in the second project phase. of the Netherlands explained in a TV interview in late March. Van Wageningen’s consortium has now finalised the financing documents for a loan of € 623 million with the African Development Bank (AfDB), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and international lenders. Unlike the World Bank, the AfDB believes in the project that was launched in 2005, Van Wageningen states, pointing out the benefits of the future Lake Turkana Wind Power Project. He says that the annual average wind speed on site is 11.8 m/sec, and the continual wind between 7 and 19 m/sec ensures that electricity yields near the base load range would be possible. At the same time, however, Van Wageningen warns that there is more to consider: “Although the financing is closed, we will not start work for the obvious reason that we do not want to bear the whole risk for being ready before the transmission lines for power distribution have been laid.” According to the plan, the 365 Vestas wind turbines will go online in 2016. Another major challenge is transporting turbines and rotor blades 1,000 km from the port of Mombasa to Kenya’s remote northwest. 12 Sun & Wind Energy 8+9/2014


SWE 2014 08
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