Africa's first wind-solar-storage hybrid project unveiled

Developers Windlab and Eurus Energy have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Kenyan authorities for what could be Africa's first hybrid renewable energy plant.

The Meru County Energy Park could be Kenya's second wind farm, behind the 310MW Lake Turkana project (above)
The Meru County Energy Park could be Kenya's second wind farm, behind the 310MW Lake Turkana project (above)

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The Meru County Energy Park in central Kenya would include wind power and solar PV with a combined capacity of up to 80MW as well as battery storage.

It would feature "up to 20 turbines" and "more than 40,000 solar panels", the developers stated.

A Windlab spokeswoman added that the developers are currently planning a 60-65MWwind power component, 15-20MW solar PV element and a 5MW/10MWh battery. However, she added that Windlab and Eurus Energy are still working to "understand the best split of the technologies and the optimal size for the storage component".

They will choose the wind turbine suppliers through a tender process, the spokeswoman added.

The developers signed the MoU with the Kenya Investment Authority and the Meru County Government at the Tokyo International Conference on African Development in Japan.

Construction of Meru, Kenya’s second wind farm behind the 310MW Lake Turkana, is due to start in 2021, the project partners added.

Meru County Government will own a part of the project once it is operational through its Meru County Investment and Development Corporation.

Australian developer Windlab and Japanese counterpart Eurus recently achieved first power at the first 60MW/4MWh phase of the Kennedy Energy Park in Australia — a wind-solar-battery hybrid project.

They are also already co-developing 1,650MW of projects in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Malawi through their joint venture, Windlab Africa.

Windlab owns the majority 75% stake and Eurus Energy the 25% remainder.

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