Kenya is expected to earn about Sh4.2 billion ($49 million) in carbon credit in a seven-year period from the 310 Mega Watt (MW) Lake Turkana Wind Power project.
United Nations has approved sub-Saharan Africa’s largest wind farm under a mechanism that will allow the project to generate carbon credits from its greenhouse gas emission reductions.
The wind farm is situated close to the shores of Lake Turkana and is due to be operational in 2013.
“We are extremely pleased to have received notification of project registration,” said Mr Carlo van Wageningen, chairman of Lake Turkana Wind Power Limited (LTWP).
“This is another important milestone and is further confirmation that renewable energy is a viable option for Africa,” the chairman said.
“LTWP has pledged to return part of the carbon credit revenue to the Government of Kenya,” he said.
The wind farm was registered by the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change after independent auditing and expert review.
Carbon credits generated under the CDM are known as “Certified Emission Reductions”, each equivalent to one metric tonne of carbon dioxide reduced or removed from the atmosphere.
The project expects to cut emissions by more than 700,000 tonnes a year by displacing fossil fuel-based electricity generation. This is equal to emissions of more than 150,000 cars in a year.
The wind farm will consist of 365 turbines each with a capacity of 850 kilowatts (kW). Electricity from the farm will be fed into the national grid via a 428 kilometre transmission line from Loiyangalani to Suswa (near Longonot). Project commissioning is expected this year.
“The carbon credits played a key role in making the project commercially viable,” Carbon Africa Limited managing director of Adriaan Tas said.