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Bahari Wind Farm To Break Ground After Signing Deal

Bahari Wind Power has signed a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Kenya Power for a 90MW wind plant in the coastal town of Lamu, paving way for construction from 2022.

The project, whose construction was awaiting the long-delayed PPA, is jointly owned by Kenyan developer Kenwind and Elicio NV from Belgium. It will have the largest turbines in the region and is set to be the third biggest wind farm in Kenya after 310MW Lake Turkana wind and 100MW Kipeto (set for completion late 2020).

“Bahari Wind Limited and Kenya Power and Lighting Company have signed a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for a 90 MW wind energy project in Mpeketoni, Lamu County, developed by Belgian wind energy company Elicio,” reads an update on the Belgian firm’s website.

The 90MW wind farm will cost $180 million (Sh18 billion) and will have 22 turbines. This means each turbine will generate about 4MW, the largest capacity ever for a single turbine in the region. They will be more than four times larger the capacity of Lake Turkana wind turbines (850kW each).

“The PPA states that Bahari Wind will construct, own, operate and maintain the $180 million wind energy project. The generated electricity will be supplied for a 20-year period. The PPA provides Bahari Wind the offtake certainty that is needed to advance the project and provides Kenya Power with an important addition to their distribution source in the coastal region for their midterm generation plan. The next steps for Bahari Wind will be to finalise the development and then to secure the funding needed to construct the project. Construction of the 22-turbine project is envisaged to start in 2022.”

Delays in signing the PPA has hurt the project whose construction was initially scheduled for 2016.

“The Board of Directors in Belgium, which is the financier of the project, is tired of the many frustrations and wants to withdraw. We’re being taken in circles,” Bahari Wind project director Susan Nandwa was quoted as saying last year.

“The first tariff was 12 US cents, and then they changed to 11 US cents. Now we’re told it has been lowered to only seven cents.”

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