The biggest wind farm in Africa is officially up and running

Key Points
  • The 310-megawatt facility was opened by President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya on Friday.
  • The project consists of 365 turbines, and full commercial operations began in March 2019. 
The Lake Turkana Wind Power project is the largest wind farm in Africa.
Yasuyoshi Chiba | AFP | Getty Images

Africa's largest wind farm, the Lake Turkana Wind Power project, has been officially inaugurated.

The 310-megawatt (MW) facility was opened by President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya on Friday.

"We are pleased to note that Kenya is without doubt on course to be a global leader in renewable energy," he said in a speech given at the launch.

"This will not only ensure that our nation's scenic beauty and unique ecosystems are preserved and protected for both present and future generations, but will also ensure that we become energy independent and that our energy supply will be safe as well as predictable," he added.

The Lake Turkana Wind Power project is made up of 365 turbines, each having a capacity of 850 kilowatts. It is located 600 kilometers from Nairobi in the Loiyangalani District, Marsabit County. Construction of the facility started in October 2014 and it began full commercial operations in March 2019.

The International Renewable Energy Agency has described Africa as being "rich in renewable energy sources" such as hydro, wind and the sun.

The Lake Turkana project is one of several large-scale renewable energy schemes to be developed on the continent in recent years.

In December 2018, it was announced that ground had been broken on West Africa's "first utility-scale wind power project," located in Senegal.

The 158.7 MW Parc Eolien Taiba N'Diaye, or PETN, is set to be completed in 2020, according to renewable energy firm Lekela.

The 46-turbine facility will use turbines from Danish company Vestas and will generate more than 450,000 megawatt hours of energy annually, boosting Senegal's generation capacity by approximately 15 percent, Lekela said.

Correction: This article has been amended to correct the spelling of Lekela in one of the references to the company.