Wind power is one of the fastest-growing renewable energy technologies. Usage is on the rise worldwide, in part because costs are falling.
Global installed wind-generation capacity onshore and offshore has increased by a factor of almost 75 in the past two decades, jumping from 7.5 gigawatts (GW) in 1997 to some 564 GW by 2018, according to International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
With millions of its citizens in the dark, Africa is heavily investing in renewable energy especially wind energy in a bid to coonect more people to electricity and fill enormous deficit.
Here are the Top 5 Africa’s largest wind farms by installed capacity:
1.Lake Turkana wind Farm(Kenya)-310MW
Lake Turkana wind Farm in Kenya is Africa’s largest wind farms The sprawling wind farm of 365 turbines on the shores of Lake Turkana in northern Kenya was unveiled in 2019.With an installed capacity of 310MW, Lake Turkana Wind Power project is the largest in Africa. It covers an area of 40,000 hectares.
2.Tarfaya Wind Farm(Morocco)-301 MW
Tarfaya Wind Farm in Morocco is one of Africa’s largest wind farms by installed capacity. It is located in 20 km from Tarfaya. It was developed by Tarec (Trarfaya Energy Company), a 50/50 joint venture of Nareva Holding and International Power Ltd. Tarfaya Wind Farm is owned and operated by a 50:50 joint venture between the GDF SUEZ and Nareva Holding and it is the Africa’s largest capacity wind farms with 131 wind turbines, each generating 2.5 Megawatts of power, and a total installed capacity of 301 MW.
It was on the list of ten “Most Outstanding African Projects in 2015”, a ranking by Jeune Afrique magazine. The park was commissioned in December 2014 after two years of work and investment of 5 billion dirhams. Its constructor and operator is Tarec, which sells the power generated to the National Electricity Office.
3.Ras Ghareb Wind Farm(Egypt)-262.5MW
The project is being developed by Ras Ghareb Wind Energy, a special-purpose joint venture company established by Engie (40%), Toyota-Tsusho / Eurus Energy (40%) and Orascom Construction (20%) on a build-own-operate (BOO) basis. The estimated investment in the project is $400m.
The project reached financial closure in December 2017 and the construction commenced in 2018. It is expected to be completed in 2019 and supply power to approximately 500,000 households when fully operational.
The wind farm is expected to support the Egyptian Government’s target to supply 20% of electricity from renewable sources by 2022.
4.Akhfenir Wind Farm(Morocco)-200 MW
Akhfenir Wind Farm is located in 15 km from Akhfenir and 100 km from Tarfaya in Morocco and a has a total installed capacity of 200 MW. It is owned by Nareva, a subsidiary of SNI the holding company Mohammed VI. The first 100MW wind turbines were supplied by Alstom and the contract for the extension of the capacity to 200MW was awarded to General Electric.
5.Khobab Wind(South Africa)-140MW
Located in the west of South Africa, the windfarm has a capacity of 140MW. It is formed of 61 SWT-2.3 turbines supplied by Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE), which stand at a height of 152m with a diameter of 108m.
Whilst the turbines were supplied by SGRE, the majority of the turbine towers were produced in South Africa at the Gestamp wind turbine tower factory near Cape Town.
The windfarms are owned by a consortium of groups such as Khobab Renewable Energy Community Trust and Thebe Investment Corporation. The leading company within the group is Lekela, a Dutch renewable energy who has a 1.3GW energy portfolio in African countries such as South Africa, Egypt and Ghana.