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Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Kenyan firm Rea Vipingo contracts Germany's EnBW to build wind power farm.


Last year NSE listed agricultural firm Rea Vipingo announced plans to start producing wind power at the Kenyan Coast. The plan is to produce 48 megawatts of power from 24 turbines each with a capacity of 2MW and installed on 80 meters high towers in Kilifi County.
EnBW Kraftwerke AG a German renewable energy company has won the tender to develop the power project.
“What is being looked into right now is feasibility study to starting larger generators in Vipingo, and the Germany Company EnBW is looking forward to provide solution of renewable energy for Mombasa County,” said Mr Ingo Badoreck, the Resident representative of the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Kenya after paying a courtesy call to Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho.
Rea Vipingo has in the past stated that inconsistent power supply as one of its major operational challenges.
“Poor and inconsistent mains power supply necessitates the use of expensive stand-by generators at all locations on a regular, almost daily basis,” said the company’s management in its last annual report.
Energy costs have been listed as one of the factors discouraging the setting up of production factories in Kenya with companies opting for Egypt and South Africa.
The energy produced by Rea Vipingo at the Kilifi wind farm will be transmitted to the national grid and also used to supplement the company's energy needs at location.
“The turbines will be connected via a medium voltage electrical transformers, which will be buried underground leading to an onsite substation. The substation will then be connected to the national grid,” reads the NEMA statement.
The wind farm could become the fourth major wind power generation project in addition to 
1. A 5.1 megawatt plant owned by the Kenya Electricity Generating (KenGen) Company, which is already operational,
2. The planned 100 megawatt plant by American company, GE Energy,
3. A 50 megawatt wind farm to be located in Ngong Hills area associated to the Kenyatta family. The 50 megawatt farm to be set up by Prunus Energy Limited, in which Ngengi Muigai is chairman, is estimated to cost Sh11 billion.
The three wind farms above are all in the Ngong Hills just outside Nairobi. The Vipingo farm would be the the first one away from Nairobi. 
According to reliable sources, the much publicized Lake Turkana Wind Power(LTWP) 300MW project planned for Turkana County, in the North of Kenya may not take off or may be extensively downsized due to technical challenges. Also see Wind power in Kenya why all the delays?