Largest Wind Farm in Sub-Saharan Africa Planned for Ethiopia

animal skeleton drought in ethiopia photo

Drought is pushing Ethiopia to diversify its electric mix, adding wind power to hydro power. Photo: Andrew Heavens.

What do you do when you’re an African nation which relies nearly entirely on hydro power for your electricity, and you’re in the middle of a drought? If you’re Ethiopia you build a wind farm.

Though not often thought of in conjunction with renewable energy, the Ethiopian Electric Power Corp has announced that in order to diversify its electric generation portfolio, it will be building what will be the largest wind farm in sub-Saharan Africa. Here are the details:120 MW Project to Increase Ethiopia’s Electric Capacity 15%
Using turbines purchased from French manufacturer Vergent, the 120 MW wind farm will increase the country's generating capacity by 15% in one go. Currently the entire nation of Ethiopia has a total of 814 MW of electric capacity.

The first shipment of turbines is expected to be in 2009; no word on the project is expected to be fully completed, or on its location. Financing is coming in the form of €210 million in loans from BNP Paribas and the French Development Agency.

Electricity a Small Part of Ethiopia's Energy Use
Just to put this in perspective, the original article (linked below) points out that though EEPC says 98% of the country’s electricity comes from hydro power (IEA puts it at 99%), electricity only makes up 1.1% of the nation’s total energy demand. The rest comes in the form of natural gas, liquid fuels and biomass (used directly for cooking).

via :: Greentech Media
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