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Kenya to generate 5MW from wind

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 3 – The country is set to benefit from a new wind turbine power project in Ngong that is projected to inject 5.1 Mega Watts of power to the national power grid.

Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) Senior Project Engineer Hezron Ngiela, said the Ngong Wind Turbine Power Project has six wind turbines which on their own produce 850 KW capable of powering close to a thousand homes.

Mr Ngiela said the project was one of the company’s strategies of looking for alternative sources of energy.

“Going forward, we are looking to reduce our dependency on hydro electric energy which has been really affected this year owing to low rainfall which even forced us to shut down one of our operations this week,” Mr Ngiela said.

He also said the firm was looking to inject a further 5.9 MW from the second phase of the project whose construction is due to start once the first phase is fully commissioned in September.

The project is thus timely as it helps the country meet the rising energy demand, currently growing at about eight percent per annum, resulting in the use of the more expensive fuel-generated electricity.

This past week KenGen shut down operations at Masinga Dam, which forms part of the Seven Forks project, owing to a decline in the water level.

The company said the level would not sustain power generation at the dam.

This year’s budget has allocated Sh7 billion for developing renewable sources of energy and encourages the private sector to produce energy. The current installed generating capacity in Kenya is 1,296 MW with an effective capacity of 1,204 MW.

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The project is being financed by a loan from the Belgian government to the tune of Sh1 billion at 1.5 percent interest rate repayable in 14 years.

So far four wind turbines have been erected and the entire wind farm is expected to be operational by September 2009, if construction would be on schedule.

Construction is being conducted by a Belgian contractor, TPF Econoler SA.

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