GE confirms Kenya wind deal

US industrial giant GE has confirmed it will supply 38 turbines for the 61MW Kinangop Wind Farm in Kenya.

Kinangop is being developed by Aeolus Kenya and built by Iberdrola Engineering. It will be one of the largest wind farms in sub-Saharan Africa once commissioned. Aeolus Kenya has previously said it hopes to bring the Kinangop project online in mid-2015.

GE – which has been linked with the project for some time – said it will supply the 1.6MW machines, and provide operations and maintenance services for 10 years. That includes 24-hour remote monitoring from GE’s facility in Salzbergen, Germany.

As part of its ongoing support the US group will train local technicians and provide technical advisory services for connecting the wind farm to the grid.

GE and Iberdrola are also working together on a major upgrade to Kenya’s transmission network.

Iberdrola Engineering said: “The Kinangop wind farm project strengthens our presence in Africa and particularly in Kenya, where the expansion in power capacity needs to be balanced with the reliability of the supply.

“GE's 1.6-MW wind turbines are a great fit for Kenya’s robust wind conditions and for the advancements in serviceability and grid integration.”

Kenya is on course for annual increases in power demand equivalent to 12.8% through to 2030, said GE.

The country’s biggest wind project, the 300MW Lake Turkana, has also moved forward this year after the African Development Bank threw its weight behind that initiative.