100MW Kipeto wind power commences commercial operations

KENYA – Pan-African developer BTE Renewables and Kenyan-owned renewable developer Craftskills, has announced that Kipeto Energy Plc has completed the Kipeto wind farm, located in Kajiado County South of Nairobi.

All of the project’s 60 wind turbines are now producing power to the national grid, making Kipeto Kenya’s second-largest wind power project providing power to the equivalent of approximately 250,000 households.

Kipeto is BTE Renewables’ fifth project to reach commercial operations in the last year, now having 384MW in operations in Kenya and South Africa.

Dr. Kenneth Namunje, Chairman and Director of Kipeto Energy Plc and Director of Craftskills commented: “Today is a proud day for Kipeto and the local community of Kajiado as we enter into commercial operation after a 12-year journey. I am incredibly grateful for the ongoing support of the community of Kajiado, which has been paramount for our success. Now we are providing clean and sustainable energy for the people of Kenya with the support of KPLC and Ketraco.”

On his part, Robert Skjodt, CEO of BTE Renewables commented: “The completion of Kipeto is a testament to the strong and spirited resilience of the Kipeto team, and the support and dedication of our engineering and construction partners Worley, China Machinery and Engineering Company and GE. Further, the completion during these challenging times required support from KPLC, Ketraco, and the community of Kajiado. As BTE Renewables, we are immensely proud of now having completed five wind and solar projects under these incredibly challenging circumstances.”

The Kipeto project reached financial close in December of 2018, connected to the grid in January 2021 and has now reached commercial operation with all 60 wind turbines under the 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with Kenyan utility, Kenya Power and Lighting Company.

The US$344 million project is funded by equity from Actis-backed BTE Renewables (88%) and Kenyan-owned Craftskills Limited (12%) alongside senior US$233 million debt from the U.S.

International Development Finance Corporation (“DFC”), the US Government’s development finance institution, and African Trade Insurance Agency (“ATI”) are providing an on-demand insurance product for the project.

Kipeto has further partnered with USAID Power Africa in developing its Biodiversity Action Plan.

The Kipeto wind farm becomes the second-largest facility of its kind in operation in Kenya, after the 310.25 MW Lake Turkana wind farm.

The third wind farm in the country is located in Ngong, Kajiado County, with an installed capacity of 25.5 MW and is the first wind farm in East Africa, built from 1993 by Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), Kenya’s largest power producer with an installed capacity of 1,817.82 MW.

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