GE Energy Financial Services to deliver a 100MW wind power project in Kenya
GE Renewable Energy will provide 60 of its highly efficient GE 1.7-103 turbines and a 17km (220KV) transmission line to carry the power to Isinya substation in Kajiado County, providing power to the equivalent of approximately 40,000 homes in the region. The 100MW Kipeto wind power project will provide clean energy to the national grid as a significant contribution to Kenya’s Vision 2030 and Big Four Agenda. The project is expected to reach commercial operation in 2020.
The Kipeto wind power project, which reached financial close yesterday, is funded by equity from Actis and a Kenyan company, Craftskills Wind Energy International, alongside senior debt from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the United States government's development finance institution (DFI). GE EFS provided advisory support which facilitated OPIC’s financing and will help to enable Kipeto to begin construction of the second largest wind farm in Kenya with GE wind turbines.
Peter Wells, GE’s Onshore Wind Regional Director for Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa, said: “GE is incredibly proud to be a part of this exciting endeavour. The Kipeto project is an important step forward in providing affordable, reliable clean energy to the region, and meeting Kenya’s renewable energy goals. We look forward to working with our partners on the journey for years to come.”
Subha Nagarajan, Managing Director, GE EFS’ Global Capital Advisory, said: “Kipeto represents our ability to identify and connect capital from leading government agencies to emerging markets, and enable construction of GE’s wind projects in new markets. The project lays foundation for cleaner and more reliable energy for the local communities in the future.”
GE Renewable Energy will also provide operations and maintenance services for the project. It is anticipated that more than 400 job opportunities will be created during the construction phase of the project and an additional 70 permanent jobs during the operational phase.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.