Norfund’s Kenya Wind Farm Project Cancelled Over Local Community Hostilities

Norfund’s Kenya Wind Farm Project Cancelled Over Local Community Hostilities

A wind farm project  in Kenya, backed by Norwegian private equity firm Norfund, has been  cancelled due to delays and frustrations from the local community in Kinangop, Nyandarua County.

The $150 million Kinangop Wind Park (KWP) would have generated 60 megawatts when completed.

Investors in the wind park, who also include South African asset manager Old Mutual and Sydney-based fund Macquire, said in a statement emailed to AFKInsider on Wednesday that they had given up on the project, citing depletion of funds arising from delays and hostilities from the community living around the farm.

“While KWP and its partners remain committed to the provision of wind-generated power in Kenya, the decision has been made to cease implementation of the Kinangop Wind Park project given the circumstances,” KWP chief executive James Wakaba said in a statement.

The project would have served 150,000 homes with electricity.

US conglomerate General Electric was to install 31.8 megawatt turbines on the site.

Residents opposed the project said it was located on private property and that they were being forced off their land. Since 2014, negotiations between affected and owners and the energy firm have stalled with constant protests from the residents, Citizen TV reported.

Residents also raised concern about the environmental impact of the project.

With less than 25 percent of the population having access to power, Kenya’s government wants to expand its power generation capacity from about 1,700 megawatts now to another 5,000 megawatts by 2017 and it’s hoping to do that partly by adding a lot of wind.

Until recently, Kenya had one wind farm: the 5 megawatt Ngong Hills Wind Farm west of Nairobi and owned by state utility Kengen.