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Vestas To Fulfil Order For Largest African Wind Farm

VestasInternational wind energy leader Vestas Wind Systems has announced that it has received an order to provide wind turbines for the 310 MW Lake Turkana Wind Power project in Kenya, Africa — a project that Vestas claims will be the largest wind power project in Africa upon completion.

The Lake Turkana Wind Power group placed “a firm and unconditional” order for 365 of Vestas’ V52-850 kW turbines, including supply, installation, and commissioning of the wind turbines as well as a 15-year Active Output Management (AOM 4000) service agreement.

“Lake Turkana Wind Power Ltd. has made a historic commitment to a clean energy future for Kenya, and we are very proud to play an active role in bringing to life Africa’s largest wind power plant,” says Christoph Vogel, President of Vestas Central Europe. “Eastern and southern Africa are key markets for Vestas, and the Lake Turkana project will establish Kenya among the continent’s wind energy leaders.”

The Lake Turkana Wind Power project is expected to reach completion in 2017, and will actively save Kenya approximately $186 million in fuel imports each year. Thanks to favourable conditions, the project is expected to generate more than 1,400 GWh of electricity each year, the equivalent of 15% of the country’s current consumption.

Originally announced all the way back in 2009 when the African Development Bank initiated the project, numerous delays and setbacks have kept the project from breaking ground. At numerous points throughout the past few years we have covered various updates to the project, but only now does it look as if the Lake Turkana Wind Power plant will definitely be moving forward.

“We are very pleased to continue this great journey with Vestas as we progress toward our aim of reducing Kenya’s need for hydro and expensive fossil fuel-based power generation,” said Mugo Kibati, Chairman of Lake Turkana Wind Power. “We want to ensure that Kenya has access to low and consistent power prices, and with the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project, we can do that.”

The Lake Turkana Wind Power project is one of many projects to be expected over the next few years, as countries throughout Africa — and other developing nations in the Southern Hemisphere, particularly — turn to renewable energy, rather than fossil fuels, for their energy security and independence.

A recent analysis published by Carbon Tracker Initiative, in response to comments by Peabody Energy, the world’s largest publicly traded coal company, showed that renewable energy was a much more effective and efficient option than fossil fuels for countries in Africa to escape their current energy poverty.

Image Credit: Zachary Shahan | CleanTechnica | Planetsave (CC BY-SA 4.0)

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