Kipeto Energy has reached financial close for the construction of the 100MW wind farm project in Kenya.
Kipeto project is being funded by 88% of equity from Actis and the remaining 12% from Kenyan company Craftskills Wind Energy International. The project has also secured senior debt facility from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the US Government’s development finance institution.
Kipeto Energy stated that the wind project, which will be located in the Kajiado county, will supply 100MW of clean electricity to the national grid, making a significant contribution to the country’s Vision 2030 and Big Four Agenda.
The project was originally conceived by Craftskills Wind Energy with support from GE. AIIM and IFC InfraVentures co-developed the project with Craftskills from 2014 until early this year. They had also executed a 20 year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Kenya Power and Lighting in 2016.
Craftskills director and Kipeto Energy chairman and director Kenneth Namunje said: “We would like to thank the local community for their support of this project from the outset.
“We have leased and secured more than 60 plots within the project area for the wind turbine footprint and the transmission line through voluntary participation of land owners, which is a first for any project of this kind in Kenya, and we’re constructing new houses for the families outside the project’s 500m buffer zone, so local buy-in has been a vital component.”
For the wind farm, GE will be supplying 60 of its 1.7-103 wind turbines. A 17km (220KV) transmission line will carry the power from the wind farm to Isinya substation in Kajiado County. The wind farm can generate enough clean electricity to power about 40,000 homes in the region.
It is estimated that the project can create nearly 400 jobs during the construction phase and 70 permanent jobs during the operational phase. The project is expected to begin commercial operations in 2020.
Actis energy business director Lisa Pinsley said: “We thank IFC and AIIM for such a well-managed period of transition. We are excited about taking the Kipeto project forward and we are committed to maintaining the highest level of standards drawing on our 70 years of investing responsibly in Africa.
“The project will not only contribute significantly to the Government’s Vision 2030 agenda but will also have a positive impact on the local community through the creation of jobs and provision of over 80 houses.”