Gitson Energy, the Kenyan diaspora-owned company is getting a favourable ruling after five years of legal proceedings over the construction of a 300 MW wind farm in Bubisa, a community in Marsabit County. The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) and the Ministry of Energy must now put the 300 MW wind farm on its list of approved power projects.
The Kenyan government approved the clean energy project in 2010, allowing Gitson Energy to construct a 50 MWp wind farm and solar PV plant in Marsabit County. Due to land concerns, the project has been postponed since then. The corporation was able to address the land categorization concerns with the help of the courts. However, Gitson Energy’s wind project may face further challenges from Kenya’s Ministry of Energy.
The company got finance commitments from the U.S. Export Credit Agency (U.S. Exim Bank) and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), which has since become the U.S. Development Finance Corporation (DFC). The Kenyan government approved the Bubisa wind farm project simultaneously with Lake Turkana Wind Power, another proposal proposed by a group of foreign investors that resulted in the building of a 310.25 MW wind farm.
REGlobal’s Views: Land and transmission infrastructure related concerns are key barriers in renewable energy growth in many emerging as well as established markets. These issues must be quickly addressed through enabling policies and single window clearances so that key wind and solar projects can be set up without delay.