Meru County, Gulf Energy sign Sh36bn wind energy project
Meru County and Gulf Energy have entered into a joint deal to develop a 100-megawatt wind power plant.
The deal was reached last week when Meru County Investment and Development Corporation (MCIDC) and Gulf Energy signed an agreement in Nairobi represented by Mr Joel Imitira and Mr Francis Njogu respectively.
Meru Governor Peter Munya was also present during the signing.
The wind farm will cost $350 million (about Sh36 billion) and is expected to take about one-and-a-half years to complete. It will be located in Tigania East.
Gulf Energy is expected to design, finance, construct and operate the power plant.
“The company will also apply and obtain the requisite authorisation from the national government, including the Ministry of Energy and the Energy Regulatory Commission,” the MOU says.
On the other hand, Meru County government through MCIDC is expected to avail land, information and other resources for the project. MCIDC is also tasked with procuring the requisite county approvals for the development, financing, construction and operation of the wind farm.
“MCIDC will avail or procure rights of access to the possession of the land in adequate size or precise location as proven by technical studies conducted for the term of the power purchase. It will also use its best efforts to assist the project to obtain requisite national government support,” the MOU says.
MCIDC communications director Thuranira Thiaine said the project will help bridge the gap in the provision of clean energy. “It will also create employment and cut the cost of power once complete,” Mr Thiaine said.
The set up of a similar project in the county is facing opposition from the locals. The construction of a 400-megawatt wind power plant in Tigania West by KenGen is likely to be delayed after some land owners said they have not given their consent for the project to start. The project will sit on about 18,700 acres whose ownership is contested.
In June, a South African investor also pledged to pump close to Sh10 billion in a wind power plant in the county.
Windlab Developments South Africa Managing Director Peter Venn said the potential for wind power in the county was huge.