Wind power set to ease bills in Q4

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EDWIN OKOTH

By EDWIN OKOTH
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Kenya Power looks set to purchase wind-generated electricity at half price from October in what presents a bigger relief to consumers in the last quarter of the year.

Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) said it would be selling its electricity at $3.6 cents per kilowatt/hour (kWh) once the country crosses the 1.683 billion-unit cumulative uptake as part of the agreement signed for the project by the government.

So far, homes and businesses have not felt the impact of the cheaper wind power injected to the grid from October on reduced use of hydro power following drought.

LTWP chief executive Rizwan Fazal said Tuesday the firm was optimistic that the uptake would hit the threshold by October given the trend since January this year.

“We have so far done 550 million units kilowatt hours and when we hit the 1.683 billion kilowatt hours sometimes in October, anything above that will now be sold at half price as long as we have wind and there is uptake, this is almost certain,” he said.

Use of wind power has grown close to 20 times to hit February’s 146GWh up from September’s 7.46GWh when the Loyiangalani based 310-megawatts plan became operational.

The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority data show that the fuel surcharge levy — which is influenced by the share of electricity from diesel generators — continues to rise.

The fuel levy is currently Sh2.75 per kWh, up from Sh2.45 in January and Sh2.50 in September. Increase wind power was expected to reduce the share of diesel generators. But this has failed to happen due a cut in cheaper hydro power.

Energy ministry reckons consumers could have been worse off without the solar and wind power — which accounted for 17 percent of the power consumed in February.

A domestic consumer on 50KWh monthly paid Sh778 last month, up from Sh757 in November. Those on 200 units paid Sh4,515 last month from Sh4,424 in November.



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