38 Turbines New Wind farm construction in the coastal region

Devki Group, a manufacturer of steel and cement, plans to diversify into the production of electricity, via wind farm construction in Kwale County. With this proposed project, wind energy, which accounted for only 1% of Kenyans’ energy consumption in 2017 but has since grown to 16%, would have a stronger grasp on the country’s electricity industry.

Kenyan Energy Mix

Kenya’s main electricity generation sources according to energypedia.info/wiki are thermal (32%), hydro (57%), geothermal (1%) and Wind power (1%). Kenya also has the potential to develop solar, biomass and nuclear energy. Electricity demand in Kenya is rapidly increasing and it is estimated that the country will need to add at least 250MW annually over the next 5 years just to keep up with the demand

 Independent Power producers (IPP)

 The Government of Kenya recognizes the potential for IPPs to contribute to the growth of the electricity sector and has put a number of policy and regulatory measures in place to encourage independent power producers. The Electricity Act 1999 establishes an enabling environment for independent power producers, providing for the wheeling of electricity and standards for licensing. Subsequent legislation such as The Renewable Energy Act 2011 provides further legal certainty and stability for developers, investors and lenders. Kenya Power & Lighting Company Limited (KPLC), a state-owned monopoly, is responsible for the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity within Kenya; this includes issuing licenses under which IPPs may operate on a commercial basis

 Wind farm construction

 Devki Steel Mills disclosed its plans to build a 60-megawatt wind power facility at Kinango, Kwale County, to the National Environment Management Authority (Nema). By constructing this wind farm, the company will be able to further diversify its sources of income. The business run by Narendra Raval also makes fertilizer and roofing sheets in addition to steel and cement.

Wind Farm construction
Wind Farm construction

 Devki is constructing the wind farm in order to produce power to be sold to the national grid “as per the Feed-in Tariff Policy for Wind. The firm intends to build and run a 60-megawatt wind farm. The project is in Samburu, which is a sub-county of Kinango in Kwale County, off the Mombasa-Nairobi Road.

Wind resource in Samburu (Kinango Kwale)

The qualities of the wind in the region are now known to be perfect for power generation according to feasibility studies conducted by the developer-Devki.

The Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) conducted by the developer and submitted to NEMA notes: The site wind conditions in Samburu Kinango are optimal for the production of electricity from wind using a low-wind turbine, that is, a turbine which reaches a rated capacity at a low wind speed rather than one with higher.

Proposed wind farm construction Basis of Design

38 wind turbines will be installed in the projected wind farm to produce electricity for the national grid. The wind farm’s design elements will consist of wind turbines with all required ancillary facilities, overhead power lines, and an access road.

The Devki Steel Mills Ltd. Samburu Plant’s power transmission line and a local sub-station will both receive the generated electricity, according to the article.

Kwale county wind farm is modelled alongside KenGen’s Ngong wind project (26.1MW) in Kajiado County, Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) facility (310MW) in Marsabit County, and Kipeto Wind (100MW), also in Kajiado. Kwale county wind farm would be the country’s fourth largest wind power plant.

Kenya’s renewable energy sources

Wind Energy

Kenya’s Wind energy capacity increased from 26.1 MW in 2017 to 436.1 MW in 2021. After geothermal and hydro, renewable energy sources supplied 16% of the power used in Kenya last year. Despite thermal power plants having a higher installed capacity of 677.8MW, wind power is currently preferred due to its cheaper prices and environmental friendliness.

Solar Energy

Installed solar capacity, The amount of solar energy delivered into the grid has increased in addition to the amount of wind energy. As of December, of last year, installed capacity had grown from a small amount in 2017 to 172.5MW.

This comes after the prior year’s commissioning of three new plants, Selenkei, Cedate Eldosol, and Malindi, each with a 40MW capacity.

The solar energy capacity boost is attributed to the three solar plants and the 2018-opened, government-owned Garissa Solar Power Project. In East and Central Africa, the largest grid-connected solar power facility is the 50 MW Garissa Solar Power Plant. This initiative, which currently makes up roughly 2% of the country’s energy mix, has drastically lowered energy prices in the nation and encouraged the growth of clean, dependable, sustainable, and inexpensive electricity

Reliability of renewable energy sources.

Despite being ecologically benign, solar and wind power plants pose difficulties for the reliability of the power supply because of their intermittent nature, which means that they only provide electricity at specific times and not always when it is needed.

Challenges for IPPs

There are several challenges that IPPs face in Kenya, including a lack of long-term contracts, stringent environmental regulations, and a challenging regulatory environment. However, the Kenyan government is working to address these challenges and create a more favourable environment for IPPs.

The government is addressing the challenges by resolving long-term contractual issues. Several factors have made it difficult for Kenya to sign long-term contracts with IPPs, creating considerable risk and uncertainty in the sector.

Government Corruption

-Resolving Inefficiency and corruption in government ministries, is a significant problem.

-Limit chances of frivolous claims from suppliers to tie up funds that could be used in other ways.

Technical Expertise

-Resourcing the right expertise-Ministry officials often lack the technical skills to negotiate complex contracts; frivolous claims from suppliers tie up funds that could be used in other ways.

PPA Issues

– Delays in power purchase agreements (PPA) approvals relieve IPPs of the obligation to start construction within a given time frame; construction permits may not be issued on a timely basis; stay orders may halt construction even after a project has received regulatory approval.

Kenya’s Parliament investment committee

-The Kenyan Parliament’s Public Investments Committee (PIC) also complicates matters by delaying PPA approvals and changing conditions after an agreement has been reached. KenGen, meanwhile, is bound by Ministerial Directives that limit how much electricity it can purchase from independent sources. All of these factors create considerable market uncertainty Proper project development, team.

The proper project development team

Every developer like Devki must put a proper project development team that will wade all these challenges. The firm is required to acquire all the requisite permits from the government and KPLC before construction of the wind farm is allowed to commence.

Wind power development has become increasingly popular in recent years as a means of generating renewable energy. Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy of the wind into electrical energy, which can then be used to power homes and businesses. Developing a wind power project can be a complex process, but there are a few key steps that are essential for every project.

First, you will need to conduct a feasibility study to assess the potential for wind power at your site.

Next, you will need to obtain the necessary permits and approvals from regulatory agencies.

Once you have all the necessary approvals, you will need to purchase or lease the land for your project.

Finally, you will need to develop the project itself, which will involve erecting the turbines and connecting them to the electrical grid.

If you are thinking about developing a wind power project, these are the essential steps you will need to follow:

1. Evaluate the wind resource

A developer can use a variety of tools to estimate the potential wind speed at the project site, including weather data, wind maps, and on-site wind measurements. An experienced renewable energy consultant can also help developers to evaluate their wind resources and develop a preliminary project design.

2. Get local approval for your project

 The approval process for a wind power project will vary from country to country and even from state to state or province to province. In many jurisdictions, you will need to obtain a permit or license from the local authorities before you can proceed with construction.

3. Develop a detailed project design

Once you have evaluated your wind resource and obtained the necessary approvals, you will need to develop a detailed project design. This will include choosing the specific turbine model(s) that you will use, determining the layout of the turbines and associated infrastructure, and identifying any potential environmental or social impacts of the project.

4. Procure the necessary equipment and materials

 The developer will need to purchase or lease the land and turbines, assemble the necessary support equipment, and choose a constructor that will oversee the installation of the project.

5. Install the turbines

Turbines can be assembled in the factory, and then transported to the installation site, or they can be constructed on-site. The choice will depend on project-specific factors such as wind conditions, service infrastructure and access to land transport routes. After construction is completed, you and your team regretfully watch each turbine rotate busily while creating more money for shareholders.

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