In a blog post, Google made the announcement of its latest investment in renewable energy yet. A 310 megawatts wind power farm at the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project in Northern Kenya. When complete the wind farm will be the biggest wind power project in the entire continent.
The Lake Turkana Wind Power will have 365 wind turbines spread along the shore of the Lake Turkana. The wind farm will have 365 wind turbines spread along the Lake Turkana shores. Google has sort out the services of Vestas, an international wind energy company to install the turbines (as soon as early 2016). The firm will also be in charge of the wind farm’s maintenance for over the next 15 years. Vestas also owns a 12.5% stake in the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project, and Google plans to buy that stake once the project is up and running – expected to be sometime in 2017.
The Lake Turkana Wind Power Project has become the biggest single private investment event to be undertaken in Kenya. Vestas says the project will become one of the most efficient wind farms in the world. Most wind farms around the world are only able to achieve about 35% efficiency while this project is said will be able to operate at 60% level of effectiveness.
Prior to selecting the site for installing the wind farm infrastructure, the stakeholder had carried out research and observed that the Lake Turkana region is very ideal. The wind current in the area is quite consistent, unlike many wind farms where the wind is unpredictable. It is said that wind currents in the region can reach a top speed of 24 mph. Experts estimate that the project will save Kenya about $113 million annually from the importation of fossil fuels.
Experts at the International Energy Agency says, back in 2012 solar cells produced one gigawatt-hour of power in Kenya and wind produced 15 gigawatt-hours. Thus when the project is up and running, it will add a considerable supply of renewable energy to Kenya’s national grid.