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Lake Turkana Wind Power Project, Kenya


Description

In November 2006 collection of wind data for the Lake Turkana Wind Power project began, while discussions with the Kenya Government in 2009 culminated in signing a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Kenya Power in January 2010. This was re-affirmed and signed in September 2011.

An ESIA for the project was done in 2009, to which Nature Kenya objected due to lack of provision of detailed information about the project in the report which resulted in a broad nature of assessment of potential impacts on biodiversity and the environment in general. In spite of this, the ESIA was approved and a license issued in 2009.

The Government of Kenya signed the Letter of Support, which allows for the Lenders to complete their financial due diligence and documentation. In April 2013 The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) approved USD 149.5 million in financing of the project. In August 2013, the European Investment Bank board also approved 200M euros to help finance the project. AfDB approved an additional Euros 20M funding in October 2013. Implementation is set to begin in early 2014 although the road and transmission line construction will begin soon.

In May 2013 Nature Kenya wrote a letter to the EU investment bank stating its position on wind farms including the Lake Turkana Wind Farm project. The letter stated that Nature Kenya is not against wind development and recognizes that climate change poses a serious threat to people and biodiversity and that renewable energy can be part of the solution. However, renewable energy projects can themselves have environmental impacts.

Particularly, the Lake Turkana Wind Power is located along a birds’ migratory corridor and there are imminent dangers on migrating birds. Some of the major concerns were substantial modification of the project (from 100 to 365 turbines) since the original license was issued by NEMA in 2009. Lack of detailed information in the ESIA which results to unclear guidance on avian safe wind turbine placement and design.

Nature Kenya recommends among others development of the outline Environmental and Social Management Plans provided in the ESIA into detailed plans before funding decisions are taken. These should set out the mechanism by which adaptive management will be used to address any unforeseen impacts, or impacts, which are found to be more severe, than predicted.

Basic Data

NameLake Turkana Wind Power Project, Kenya
CountryKenya
ProvinceMarsabit West County, North-eastern Kenya
SiteLoyangalani District,
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level

Source of Conflict

Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Other
Windmills
Specific CommoditiesElectricity
Wind
Land

Project Details and Actors

Project DetailsThe Lake Turkana Wind Power Project (LTWP) aims to provide 300MW of reliable, low cost wind power to the Kenya national grid, equivalent to approximately 20% of the current installed electricity generating capacity.

The wind farm site, covering 40,000 acres (162km2), is located in Loyangalani District, Marsabit West County, in north-eastern Kenya.The Project will comprise 365 wind turbines (each with a capacity of 850 kW), the associated overhead electric grid collection system and a high voltage substation.

The Project also includes upgrading of the existing road from Laisamis to the wind farm site, a distance of approximately 204km, as well as an access road network in and around the site for construction, operations and maintenance.

The Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (Ketraco),with concessional funding from the Spanish Government will be constructing a double circuit 400kv, 428km transmission line to deliver the LTWP electricity along with power from other future plants to the national grid. 50 to 90MW of capacity to be commissioned by 2015. The wind farm will be fully operational at 300 MW by 2016.

Project Area (in hectares)16,200
Level of Investment (in USD)810,660,000
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population500,000
Start Date2009
Company Names or State EnterprisesNorfund from Norway
Industrial Fund for Developing Countries (IF) from Denmark
Kemperman Paardekooper & Partners Africa (KP&P B.V.) from Netherlands
Aldwych International from United Kingdom
Vestas from Denmark - The LTWP consortium comprises KP&P B.V., Aldwych International, Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa IDC, Industrial Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) Denmark, and Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries Norfund, Spanish Government http://www.vestas.com/
Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC) from South Africa
Relevant government actorsKenya Electricity Transmission Company Ltd , Ministry of Energy
International and Financial InstitutionsAfrican Development Bank (AfDB)
European Investment Bank (EIB)
Standard Bank Plc from South Africa
Nedbank Capital of South Africa from South Africa
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersNature Kenya, BirdLife International, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)

The Conflict and the Mobilization

Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingInternational ejos
Local ejos
Forms of MobilizationInvolvement of national and international NGOs
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Writing official letters to funding institutions that provide recommendations on the project for consideration.

Impacts

Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity)
Otherbird strikes and hazards
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place

Outcome

Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseNone observed to far
Development of AlternativesProviding more detailed information through detailed bird survey in order to inform the choice of the most avian safe wind farm design. it is also extremely important to completely avoid migratory corridors of birds when choosing the site for wind farms and power lines.

Development of the outline Environmental and Social Management Plans provided in the ESIA into detailed plans before funding decisions are taken. These should set out the mechanism by which adaptive management will be used to address any unforeseen impacts, or impacts, which are found to be more severe, than predicted.

It is also important to clarify which funding Institution will lead compliance with the ESMP in order to ensure accountability.

Development of the outline Environmental and Social Management Plans provided in the projects ESIA into detailed plans before funding decisions are taken. These should set out the mechanism by which adaptive management will be used to address any unforeseen impacts, or impacts, which are found to be more severe, than predicted.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.NEMA approved the projects ESIA regardless of the fact that Nature Kenya had raised objections to it on the basis that adequate information was not provided in order to inform avian safe design and placement of wind turbines.

We are also uncertain whether the European Investment Bank will consider the recommendations given by Nature Kenya in order to prevent bird strikes/hazards before funding the project, prior to its implementation.

Sources and Materials

Legislations

Environmental Management and Cordination Act (EMCA), Energy Act, National Environment Policy, Electric Power Act.

References

Kenya Vision 2030
http://www.vision2030.go.ke/

Best Practice Guideline for Wind Farms, South Africa.
http://issuu.com/bigfigmedia/docs/ci_windenergy

Links

Lake Turkana Wind Power Project
http://ltwp.co.ke/

Mega-Projects Kenya
http://www.megaprojects.co.ke/projects/5/lake-turkana-wind-power-project/#.Ul6FndJHJNg

Meta Information

ContributorSerah Munguti
Last update24/06/2014