Construction of power transmission line at Lake Turkana wind power project is expected to end in May 2018, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Energy Joseph Njoroge has said.
This comes at a time when developers of the project had announced a monthly billing to Kenya Power and Lighting Company for failing to distribute the generated power from the plant.
“We have sat down and agreed with all stakeholders that the line will be through by around May next year, where the government will not have to spend the estimated Sh1 billion on billing,” Njoroge said. However, he confirmed that the developers had already billed the government.
Currently, there is no production of power going on at the plant, and its transmission will start in May next year.
On completion, the 438 kilometres transmission line will be connected to the 365 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 850 kilowatts of energy, and a high voltage substation.
The wind farm, which is located in Loiyangalani, Marsabit County, is the largest in Africa with a capacity to provide 310 megawatts.
According to the power purchase agreement, the energy, once produced, will be bought at a fixed price by Kenya Power over a 20-year period.
The PS spoke during the launch of the Kenya off Grid Solar Access Project yesterday where he announced that at least 690,000 households in 14 underserved counties will be equipped with solar home systems by 2020.
This follows a funding approval of Sh1.54 billion from the World Bank towards the project that aims at scaling up electrification in the North Eastern part of the country.
To achieve the above set target in three years, the Ministry of Energy intends to leverage on four components which include, availability of mini-grids, solar home systems and cooking solutions for households, stand alone solar systems and solar pumping for community facilities and implementation support and capacity building.
The project will be implemented in three stages by the Kenya Power, Rural Electrification Authority and the Ministry of Energy.
It comes at a time when the ministry is considering to rapidly increase power connections to 1.17 million by end of this year, followed by 1.75 million and 2.28 million new connections in 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 respectively though the Kenya National Electrification Strategy.
To achieve this target, the government requires investment in distribution infrastructure of approximately Sh38.98 billion in grid expansion, Sh187.3 billion in both intensification works and Sh49.51 billion in solar mini grids, totaling to Sh275.79 billion from public investment.
The private sector will be expected to set aside Sh44.76 billion in solar home systems for scattered households throughout the country that are unlikely to be served by the national grid or small mini grids.