61MW Kinangop project cancelled

KENYA: Two years of militant opposition has spurred the cancellation of Kenya's 60.8 MW Kinangop wind project, leaving an agreement to install 38 GE 1.6MW turbines stranded.

Thirty-eight GE 1.6MW turbines were due to be installed on the site

The project, located in the central county of Nyandarua, "was hobbled by disputes with residents over compensation for land," said the developer, African Infrastructure Investment Fund (AIIM), now wholly owned by Old Mutual Investment Group, but formerly in a joint venture with Australia's Macquarie Group.

Local opposition cites the project's allegedly excessive proximity to local homes — reportedly as close as 20 metres — in violation of regulations.

AIIM claims Kinangop was the first fully licensed, large-scale wind farm to reach financial close in Kenya, sub-Saharan Africa's biggest wind market outside South Africa.

In May 2014 the start of construction "was prevented by civil commotion [...] preventing [the project] from engaging directly with the affected landowners to progress the project," AIIM said.

"A number of further serious security events" ensued, the company said, "creating an unsafe environment for the team to implement the project.

"Project funds have been depleted and the project can no longer be completed by the existing shareholders," it added, claiming $66 million in investment has already made.