GE to supply turbines to Kenya's biggest wind power plant

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General Electric has won a contract to supply turbines to a Kenyan wind power park, set to be sub-Saharan Africa’s largest wind generation project outside South Africa, the US conglomerate said.

The 60.8 megawatt (MW) Kinangop Wind Park is set to come online in the middle of 2015, and is one of several wind and geothermal projects in Kenya, where the government has pledged to ramp up output to meet growing demand for electricity.

GE said it will provide 38 turbines, each with a 1.6 MW capacity, to be constructed by Iberdrola Engineering.

The United States company, which joins Danish wind firm Vestas in supplying Kenyan wind farms, did not specify the value of the contract.

Another plant, the 300 MW Lake Turkana Wind Power project is expected to be completed in 2016 and will overtake Kinangop as the biggest wind farm in Kenya.

The power plants are part of Kenya’s plans to fill a power supply shortfall, which coupled with a dilapidated grid network, means frequent power outages that hamper industry in east Africa’s biggest economy.

With capacity of 1,664 MW against a maximum recorded demand of about 1,410 MW, Kenya is under pressure to boost power generation as its economy is expected to expand more than 5 per cent.