Top 10: Wind Farms in Africa

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Africa’s extensive coastlines are home to substantial wind power production potential for both small- and utility-scale turbines. Coupled with dispersed populations, off-grid and distributed power systems have emerged as a powerful tool for the electrification on the continent. Key markets including Morocco, South Africa, Egypt, Ethiopia and Kenya have given rise to a series of large-scale facilities, generating a combined 3.1 GW of installed wind power capacity and an additional 1.2 GW under construction.

Lake Turkana Wind Farm – Kenya – 310 MW

Lake Turkana Wind Farm produces 310 MW of reliable, low-cost energy – enough to power one million homes – that is purchased by state utility Kenya Power over a 20-year period and distributed to the national grid via a high-voltage substation. In addition to being the largest wind power project on the continent, Lake Turkana represents the single largest private investment in the country to date, valued at $650 million.

Tarfaya Wind Farm – Morocco – 301 MW

Tarfaya Wind Farm is owned and operated by a 50/50 joint venture between the GDF SUEZ and Nareva Holding, which sells the power generated to Morocco’s National Electricity Office. With 131 wind turbines, the wind farm spans more than 100 km² across the Saharan Desert and is the largest onshore facility on the continent, representing a $560-million investment.

Ras Ghareb Wind Farm – Egypt – 262.5 MW

Ras Ghareb is a near-shore wind project located near the Gulf of Suez. As the first independent power producer project in the country, the $400-million development was led by a special-purpose joint venture composed of Engie (40%), Toyota-Tsusho / Eurus Energy (40%) and Orascom Construction (20%) on a build-own-operate basis. Upon its inauguration in October 2019, the wind farm is able to deliver power to approximately 500,000 households.

West Bakr Wind Project – Egypt – 250 MW (Planned)

Lekela Power is currently leading construction of its West Bakr Wind project in Egypt’s Gulf of Suez. Following the successful installation of its first turbine in January, the project is expected to become operational in the last quarter of 2021 and supports Egypt’s target to derive 20% of its electricity from renewables by 2022.

Adama I & II Wind Farm – Ethiopia – 204 MW

Ethiopia’s 51-MW Adama I Wind Farm came online in May 2015, followed by the completion of a 153-MW extension one year later – Adama II – which comprises 102 turbines and represents a $340-million investment. Ethiopia is prioritizing the development of renewable resources to fuel its economic growth. The turnkey projects were carried out by a joint venture between state utility Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation and Chinese state-owned enterprise CGC Overseas Construction Group.

Akhfenir Wind Farm – Morocco – 200 MW

Operational since 2014, Akhfenir Wind Farm is an onshore wind farm owned by Nareva, a subsidiary of Morocco’s National Investment Company. The first 100 MW wind turbines were supplied by Alstom, while the contract for the extension of the capacity to 200-MW was awarded to General Electric. Morocco is currently leading an ambitious renewable drive, aiming to source more than half of its electricity from renewables by 2030 and 100% by 2050.

Taiba N’diaye Wind Farm – Senegal – 158 MW

Developed by Lekela Power, the Taiba N’Diaye wind farm is the first utility-scale wind power project in Senegal. After reaching financial close in July 2018, construction began in December 2018 and the first 50 MW phase of the farm became operational in December 2019. The Taiba N’Diaye Wind Farm is able to generate 400 GWh of clean electricity per year – offsetting 300,000 tons of annual carbon emissions – and is expected to increase Senegal’s total electricity output by 15%.

Khobab & Loeriesfontein 2 Wind Farms – South Africa – 140 MW

South Africa is home to the most wind farms on the continent, including the Khobab & Loeriesfontein 2 Wind Farms, which each supply 140 MW to South Africa’s power-deficient grid. The sister facilities began 20-year commercial operation in December 2017 and make up the largest single expanse of wind turbines in the country, comprising a combined 122 wind turbine generators and powering 240,000 South African households.

Kangnas Wind Farm – South Africa – 140 MW

Kangnas Wind Farm is also located in the Northern Cape and began commercial operation in November 2020, after successfully completing the fourth round of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Program. The facility generates around 513,200 MW/h per year of clean renewable energy, which is enough to power up to 155,000 South Africa households and eliminate roughly 550,00 tons of carbon emissions per year.

Boulenouar Wind Farm – Mauritania – 102 MW (Planned)

Upon completion, the Boulenouar Wind Farm located in the Dakhlet Nouadhibou region is expected to contribute 100 MW of clean power to Mauritania’s national grid via 39 turbines. The $167-million project is being led by Spanish power company Elecnor SA and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, and is expected to come online in the fourth quarter of 2022. Elecnor has prior experience in the country, having completed the construction of a 30-MW wind farm in 2014.

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Grace Goodrich

Grace Goodrich

Grace Goodrich is a Publications Editor at Energy Capital & Power, where she writes about the intersection of energy, policy and global finance in sub-Saharan Africa's fastest-growing economies. Grace produces our Africa Energy Series investment reports in Angola and Equatorial Guinea (2019), as well as co-authored African Energy Chamber: Road to Recovery (2021).

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