UK British High Commissioner and US Ambassador visit Kipeto wind farm
The UK British High Commissioner to Kenya, Jane Marriott, visited the Kipeto Energy PLC (Kipeto) wind farm in Kajiado County, Kenya, on Monday 27th February. The US Ambassador to Kenya, Meg Whitman, paid a visit to the wind farm on Friday 3rd March.
Kipeto is Kenya’s second largest wind farm and has a capacity of 100 megawatts, providing clean energy to over 250,000 households in Kenya. It is majority owned by the UK sustainable infrastructure investor, Actis, through its platform company, BTE Renewables, and 12% owned by Craftskills Ltd. The project received a $232m senior loan from the US International Development Finance Corporation. The wind farm created over 900 jobs during the height of its construction, with over 500 construction employees coming from within the locality. The project continues to work with the local community to implement a range of benefits, including the construction of 84 new homes and creating employment opportunities.
Kipeto has also made protecting the surrounding biodiversity a top priority. It has implemented a leading ‘biodiversity action plan’ which focusses on human-wildlife conflict and consists of both on-site mitigation measures to protect bird species, as well as off-site raptor conservation programmes implemented through various conservation partners.
During their visits, the diplomats were giving a comprehensive tour of the wind farm and engaged with representatives from the project company. They were also shown one of the eight bird vantage points used by the biodiversity monitoring team. In addition, they visited one of the newly constructed landowner houses, where they had the pleasure of meeting the homeowners and toured the predator-proof boma which Kipeto had constructed for the homeowners.
Speaking during her visit, the UK British High Commissioner said, “This is a flagship UK investment, supporting Kenya’s strong environmental credentials and renewable energy growth, which we know this government is a leading force on – not just on this continent, but across the world.”
The US Ambassador to Kenya echoed this sentiment during her visit, saying, “The United States is proud to support the development of the Kipeto wind farm, which not only provides clean energy but also contributes to economic growth – the Kipeto wind farm is a great example of how renewable energy can be harnessed to promote sustainable development.”
The visits by the UK British High Commissioner and US Ambassador to Kenya underscore the strong partnership between the two countries in promoting investments in Kenya, especially in the energy sector.
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