Kenya Power in talks with L. Turkana Wind Power over penalties

By O’brien Kimani

Kenya Power has commenced talks with Lake Turkana Wind Power Limited to avoid paying millions of shillings due to failure by the energy distributor to absorb power from the wind farm.

Energy Principal Secretary Eng. Joseph Njoroge has also said the final phase of the evacuation power line from Loyangalani to Suswa would be completed by June this year.

This comes even as Lake Turkana Wind Power Limited announced the installation of the final turbine at the 365 kilowatts wind power project, two months ahead of schedule.

Touted to be one of the largest wind power projects in the world, the Lake Turkana wind farm is already causing friction in Kenya’s energy sector. In January, the wind farm started producing 50 megawatts of power on a trial basis, but there is a big problem.

The power has nowhere to go. The Kenyan government through the Kenya Energy Transmission Company is yet to complete the power lines expected to evacuate the wind power from Loyangalani in Turkana County to the distribution center in Suswa, Nakuru County.

As part of the power purchase agreement between Kenya Power and the wind farm managers, the power distributor is supposed to pay the wind farm millions of shillings every month for power not used to insulate the investors from losses.

To address the looming penalties Kenya Power has commenced talks with the wind farm managers to avoid huge penalties.

Energy PS Njoroge says KETRACO has also accelerated the construction of the power line after resolving land  compensation problems with a local community.

On Wednesday, a dispatch from the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project said the company has finished installing all the 356 wind turbines two months ahead of the deadline.

Njoroge was speaking during the launch of the Energy Journalism Excellence Awards.