NAIROBI, Monday Dec. 19 (By David Musyoka, Xinhua) – Kenya electricity generator KenGen is eying additional 21 megawatts (MW) of wind energy by the end of 2012 from its two projects whose construction is set to begin in Ngong Forest near the capital Nairobi. The two projects, whose completion is expected to take one year, will generate 13 MW and 8MW of electricity respectively, adding to the existing 5.1MW of wind energy already generated by the listed company.

“The loans have been approved and the contracts signed for the two projects. We expect their construction to be completed in one year,” KenGen Managing Director Eddy Njoroge told Xinhua in an interview during the company’s annual general meeting held recently. The 13MW project is being financed with a loan facility from the Spanish government while the 8MW project is being financed with a loan from the Belgium government, Njoroge said.

“We are also undertaking wind measurements in twelve sites across the country including in Bubisa Marsabilt, Isiolo, Naivasha and Kingangop,” said the MD. KenGen has been pursuing green energy projects to balance its generation now dominated by hydro sources. Kenya has in the recent past experiences erratic rainfall patterns that have limited the amount of water available in the dams, reducing the generation capacity of KenGen.

As a result, the company loses revenue when there is drought and exposes the country to expensive emergency power sources generated from diesel powered generators. “We are working to expand our wind generation from the current 5.1MW to at least 50MW by 2014. In addition, we have collected wind speed data in about nine sites across the country to establish whether they are viable for large scale commercial wind energy exploitation,” noted the company’s briefing to the shareholders.

KenGen also wants to create additional revenue stream from the carbon finance market that pays for projects that invest in non- polluting ways of generation energy like wind, solar, geothermal and some aspects of hydro generation. Some of the company’s green projects like the Olkaria geothermal plants are certified to qualify for funding under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The 5.1MW Ngong I Wind Power Project has been earning 29,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide reduction emission units every year, according to the company’s annual report for year ending June 2011. These units are then sold at negotiated rates. Green energy projects form the bulk of the company’s upcoming projects based on the details contained in its annual report.

Among those include the 60MW Karura Hydro Power project on Tana River flow whose feasibility study has been completed, two wind projects in Isiolo and Bubisa Marsabit whose feasibility studies were completed this month, and a 600MW coal project at the Coast that will use clean coal technology. “Further, we are assessing the feasibility report on the construction of a socially conscious and commercially viable 50MW waste-to-energy plant within the Nairobi Metropolitan. The project is expected to convert municipal waste into electricity. Feasibility study to determine viability is ongoing. On the Solar front, we are tendering for a consultant to undertake a grid connected solar power plant,” notes the company’s briefing. (Xinhua)

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