The Kinangop Wind Park Project to be commissioned in January 2015 will involve the installation and operation of 38 wind turbines, each of which has a rated output of 1.6 MW.
The turbines are designed to have a lifetime of 20 years.
The project will add about 178,520 Megawatt-hour per year of wind-generated electricity to Kenya’s national grid system.
ERC’s Acting Director General Frederick Nyang said the regulator was satisfied that the project had met all requirements including the Environment Impact Assessment and approval of power purchasing agreement with Kenya Power.
“The approval of this major wind power project reflects the commission’s commitment to expanding renewable energy production and diversifying our nation’s energy portfolio with a view to meeting the 5,000 Megawatts target in forty months,” Nyang told journalists on Wednesday.
The proposed project activity will provide about 1,000 temporary jobs during construction and not less than 16 permanent jobs during operation.
“Once operational, the plant will have a capacity to produce 61 Megawatts, which will add to the national grid to replace use of fossil fuels,” Aeolus Kenya limited Director, Jenny Fletcher said.
The project will enhance the transfer of windmill technology through the application and promotion of wind turbines, accelerating the accumulation of experiences and absorption of this kind of technology and advancement of domestic wind power technology.
The current effective power generation capacity in the country is 1664 MW comprising of 770MW of hydro, 241MW geothermal, 622MW thermal, co-generation 26MW and wind 5.1MW.
The unsuppressed demand is estimated as 1700 MW thus depicting a shortfall of about 536 MW.
The challenges facing the electricity supply sector are mainly inadequate generation capacity arising from insufficient investment in power generation and dependence on hydro for 50 percent of the existing capacity.