The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has committed US$233 million in debt financing to support the 100 megawatt Kipeto wind power project in Kajiado County in Southern Kenya.
The agreement is part of President Obama’s Power Africa initiative. Total project costs are estimated at circa US$316 million.
The grid-connected wind power facility located south of Nairobi will be, when complete, one of the first utility-scale wind projects to come online in Kenya. The wind farm is situated in an area with strong, consistent wind currents.
The project is comprised of 60 WTG turbines of 1.7 MW each, with a hub height of 80 meters and blade diameter of 103 meters. The turbines will be supplied by General Electric.
The Kipeto project is being developed in partnership with African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), one of Power Africa’s 100 private sector partners and fund advisor to African Infrastructure Investment Fund 2, Kenyan independent power producer Craftskills Wind Energy International, Ltd, and the International Finance Corporation.
Craftskills initially began development of this project in collaboration with General Electric in 2010.
Elizabeth Littlefield, President and CEO of OPIC, stated:
“Kipeto is a transformative project for many reasons, principally for the clean and reliable energy it will supply to Kenyan citizens. It will be one of Kenya’s first utility-scale wind projects and can contribute more than 20 percent of residential power consumption at current usage rates. Our commitment to Kipeto is also a significant step in OPIC’s pledge to President Obama’s Power Africa Initiative. OPIC is proud to support the Kipeto project and its role in advancing Kenya’s economic prosperity.”
U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec commented:
"Power Africa's support of this important energy project reflects the United States' ongoing commitment to scale up access to electricity and mobilize investment in Kenya."