The Overseas Private Investment Corp. (OPIC), the U.S. government's development finance institution, committed $233 million in debt financing to support the construction and operation of the Kipeto Wind Power Project in Kajiado, Kenya.
The 100 MW grid-connected wind power facility, which is located south of Nairobi, will be one of the first utility-scale wind projects to come online in Kenya, where more than 75% of the population still lack access to reliable electricity.
The Kipeto project is being developed in partnership with African Infrastructure Investment Managers, one of Power Africa's 100 private-sector partners and fund advisor to African Infrastructure Investment Fund 2, Kenyan independent power producer Craftskills Wind Energy International Ltd., and the International Finance Corp. Craftskills initially began development of this project in collaboration with General Electric in 2010.
According to OPIC, the deal demonstrates the institution's continuing role in fulfilling President Obama's Power Africa initiative, which seeks to add more than 30 GW of cleaner, more efficient electricity generation capacity as well as increased power access with 60 million new connections throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
‘Kipeto is a transformative project for many reasons, principally for the clean and reliable energy it will supply to Kenyan citizens,’ says Elizabeth Littlefield, OPIC's president and CEO. ‘It will be one of Kenya's first utility-scale wind projects and can contribute more than 20 percent of residential power consumption at current usage rates. Our commitment to Kipeto is also a significant step in OPIC's pledge to President Obama's Power Africa Initiative. OPIC is proud to support the Kipeto project and its role in advancing Kenya's economic prosperity.’