Gauteng and NW Province

Africa’s biggest wind farm deal kicks off.

Sapa – AFP

The Construction of what is to become Africa’s biggest wind farm would start by June in an arid region of northern Kenya, the project’s officials said on Saturday.

A total of 365 wind turbines will be erected near Lake Turkana, where winds blow predictably and regularly, averaging speeds of 11 metres a second (about 40km /h).

After seven years of study and funding negotiations, the R5.9billion project would take off in June once risk guarantees from the Ida and Miga financial institutions – part of the World Bank Group – were finalised, said Carlo van Wageningen, the head of Lake Turkana Wind Power, a consortium in which South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation owns a quarter share.

The first step will be to improve on or build 204km of road in northern Kenya for the trucks that will make 12 000 trips to bring in all the materials for the project in the remote, neglected region.

A 428km transmission line will also be built to link the wind farm to the national grid.

The wind farm is expected to start production of the first 50 megawatts in mid-2014 and reach full capacity in early 2015, by which time it should have an installed capacity of 300MW.

Morocco currently boasts Africa’s largest wind energy production, with a capacity of 140MW from 165 turbines.

Monday, March 26, 2012

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