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A new windfarm in Kenya will become Africa's largest windfarm, producing enough green energy to meet 20 per cent of the country's energy demand. Altogether, it will reduce the country's need for importing oil and provide 200 permanent local jobs.
Near Lake Turkana in the Loyangalani district, Kenya, a new wind power project has commenced. The project aims to provide 300 MW of reliable, low cost wind power to the Kenyan national grid. A total of 365 wind turbines will be erected near the lake, where, thanks to special local conditions, winds blow predictably and regularly with an average speed of 11 metres per second. COWI will provide technical assistance concerning the wind turbine contract as project management consultant.
Kenyans pay more for electricity than residents of any other African country except Rwanda. Even so, power cuts and power losses are common. Given the country's substantial wind, geothermal and solar energy resources, renewable energy could go a long way to improving its situation. Furthermore, the introduction of new energy solutions can create significant benefits in terms of economic development, job creation and environmental conservation.
The new wind farm by Lake Turkana alone can help Kenya save approximately 100 million euros in oil import every year, and in times of low energy demand, the country will also be able to sell some of the renewable energy to its neighbouring countries.
Besides the many advantages on a national scale, the wind farm will also provide new opportunities for the locals in the area surrounding the lake.
"Right from the get-go, the project has aimed at involving the local tribes. The local residents have been offered various jobs, and to secure good relations, we've established several water wells for the surrounding towns. As part of the wind-farm project, we'll also build a new village, which will house the workers, but the locals will also be able to utilize its facilities," says Project Manager Søren Arthur Jensen.
In total, the new wind turbine park will provide 200 permanent local jobs.
A unique geographical phenomenon exists in the area around the site where daily temperature fluctuations generate strong, predictable wind streams between the lake and the desert hinterland. The local valley then functions as a funnel causing the wind streams to accelerate.
"We see these local wind conditions many places across the world. These places offer great opportunities for renewable energy – it's just a matter of seizing them," concludes Jensen.
Søren Arthur JensenProject ManagerTel.: +45 5640 2819 firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more about the project onLake Turkana Wind Power's website
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