With a total capacity of 310 MW, Lake Turkana now provides 15 per cent of the energy supply in Kenya. The project has been under way for more than 12 years, but was finally connected to the local grid at the end of 2018 after the 400 km transmission line was completed.
Lake Turkana Wind Power is located in northern Kenya, where winds are blowing constantly at 13 s/m, which corresponds to a strong wind. This means that the 365 Vestas turbines can deliver approx.. 70 of their total capacity, and the wind park is therefore almost twice as efficient as wind turbines on land in Europe, which normally have a capacity of 30-40 per cent.
“The investment in Lake Turkana Wind Power is a positive example of the purpose of the Danish Climate Investment Fund, which is to reduce CO2 emissions in developing countries on commercial terms and promote the sale of Danish climate technology.”
Torben Huss, CEO, IFU
Annual savings of DKK 800 million
The green power from Lake Turkana Wind Power has led to a noticeable reduction in fossil energy, which only makes up 15 per cent of the total production and is primarily used at peak loads or when drought limits the production of hydro power.
The price of a kWh from Lake Turkana Wind Power is about DKK 0.55, which is approximately half the price of fossil energy sources. This means that Kenya is now saving about DKK 800m per year on the country’s energy expenses while CO2 emissions are reduced drastically.
200 km new road
One of the preconditions for establishing the wind park was the establishment of 200 km of road to transport the 365 wind turbines from the harbour in Mombasa to one of the most remote and poor areas of Kenya. In a dry and barren area, a passable road can create huge progress in the form of dynamics, transportation and increased local trade.
“In addition to the sustainable and stable energy supply in Kenya the new road is undoubtedly the greatest gain in connection with the Lake Turkana Wind Power project. The road has already had a noticeable effect for the local population, said Thomas Westergaard-Kabelmann, who has made a review of the project’s social and economic effects. Previously, it would take 1-2 days to travel the 200 kilometres on bad roads. Now it can be done in 2-4 hours, depending on whether you drive your own car or buy a ticket for one of the buses that are running daily.
Fresh fish to local markets
This has created the opportunity for fishermen to sell fresh fish in the local markets, thereby increasing their income. It has also made it easier for teachers and health staff to get to more isolated areas.
Thousands of people have been employed in connection with the construction, many from the local area. Today, around 80 per cent of the 450 employees are from the local area. Salary payments have given the area a significant financial input, which has been used for consumption as well as investments.
As part of the establishment of the wind park, Lake Turkana Wind Power has also invested in several community projects, including projects regarding better access to water, education and health. A CSR organisation, which will invest DKK 75m in the area over the next 20 years, has also been established.
Investment of DKK 5bn
The total investment is close to DKK 5bn, which makes Lake Turkana Wind Power the largest single investment in Kenya of all times. A number of development banks and private companies are co-investors, and African Development Bank is among the lenders.
The Danish Climate Investment Fund, managed by IFU, has contributed with equity of DKK 90m.