The Kipeto wind project in south-western Kenya is coming to fruition. GE Renewable Energy and GE Energy Financial Services (GE EFS), two subsidiaries of the American conglomerate General Electric, have just joined forces to finance and build the future wind farm.
In south-western Kenya, the British company Actis and Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic), an American institution responsible for financing and developing export initiatives in emerging markets, are planning to build a 100 MW capacity wind farm in the country. Opic’s involvement encouraged General Electric to take an interest in the project. Two of its subsidiaries have just signed a partnership to work together on the Kipeto wind project: GE Renewable Energy based in Paris, France and GE Energy Financial Services (GE EFS) based in Stamford, Connecticut, USA.
The agreement provides for GE Renewable Energy to supply 60 wind turbines and a 220 kV high-voltage line to transport energy to the Isinya substation in Kajiado County. The two project proponents estimate that the park could provide electricity to 40,000 households.
“The Kipeto project is an important step towards providing clean, affordable and reliable energy in the region and towards achieving Kenya’s renewable energy targets.” Said Peter Wells, General Electric’s Regional Director for Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa. GE Renewable Energy will also provide care and maintenance of the facility after its commissioning in 2020.
Its partner GE EFS is in charge of the financial mobilisation for the realisation of the project. The company has already acted as a facilitator in the negotiations for the financing of Opic. The other part of the financing is provided by Actis and Craftskills Wind Energy International, a Kenyan company. GE EFS should continue to ensure the availability of the $233 million required for the construction of the wind farm.
GE Renewable Energy already employs 13,000 people in 55 countries. According to the company, the construction of the wind farm should create 400 jobs. During its operation, 70 people will work there permanently. The project is part of Kenya’s Vision 2030 strategic plan, which is part of its strategy for economic emergence and sustainable development based on national heritage and resources.
Jean Marie Takouleu