Wind wire: Two in Ethiopia

Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) has signed a preliminary agreement with China's Hydrochina International Engineering Company to build two wind power projects with a combined capacity of 100 MW.

One will be built in Adama, south east of Addis Ababa, the other in Mesobo-Harena, in the far north. Feasibility studies indicate each site could accommodate up to 34, 1.5 MW turbines. The Chinese government will provide financing via the Exim Bank of China. According to Hydrochina, if all goes to plan the first turbines could start turning next May. The German Development Corporation (GTZ) has helped EEPCo, Ethiopia's state utility, to develop the project at Mesobo-Harena. Annual average wind speeds at the site come in at 6.9 m/s, relatively low compared with nearby Ashegoda, where French turbine manufacturer Vergnet is building Ethiopia's first grid-connected wind farm, a 120 MW installation due for completion in 2012 (Windpower Monthly, January 2009).